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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
by 

MR. 
PETER STANLEY 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER 




'ARAMIS," HE SAID, "BREAK YOUR SWORD IN TWO" 

Dumas, Vol. Thirteen 



THE WORKS OF 

ALEXANDRE DUMAS 

IN THIRTY VOLUMES 




ILLUSTRATED WITH DRAWINGS ON WOOD BY 
EMINENT FRENCH AND AMERICAN ARTISTS 




NEW YORK 
P. F. COLLIER AND SON 

MC M I I 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE SHADE OF CARDINAL RICHELIEU. 

IN ONE of the rooms of the Palais Royal, in old times 
styled the Palais Cardinal, there sat a man in deep reverie, 
his head supported on his hands, leaning over a table, the 
corners of which were of silver-gilt, and which was covered 
with letters and papers. Behind this figure was a vast fire 
place glowing with heat; large masses of wood blazed and 
crackled on the gilded andirons, and the flames shone upon 
the superb habiliments of the solitary inhabitant of the 
chamber, illumined in the foreground by a candelabra filled 
with wax-lights. 

Any one who had happened at that moment to contemplate 
that red simar the gorgeous robe of office and the rich 
lace or who gazed upon that pale brow, bent in anxious 
meditation, might, in the solitude of that apartment, com 
bined with the silence of the antechambers, and the measured 
paces of the guards upon the landing-place, have fancied that 
the shade of Cardinal Richelieu still lingered in his accustomed 
haunt. 

But it was, alas! only the ghost of former greatness. France 
enfeebled, the authority of her sovereign rejected, her nobles 
returning to their former turbulence and insolence, her ene 
mies within her frontiers all proved that Richelieu was no 
longer in existence, 

In truth, that the red simar which occupied his wonted 
place was his no longer, was still more strikingly obvious from 
the isolation which seemed, as we have observed, moKe appro 
priate to a phantom than to a living creature from the cor 
ridors, deserted by courtiers, and courts crowded with guards 
from that spirit of bitter ridicule, which, arising from the 
streets below, penetrated through the very windows of that 



% TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

room, which resounded with the murmurs of a whole city 
leagued against the minister, as well as from the distant and 
incessant sounds of guns firing let off, happily, without other 
end or aim, except to show to the guards, the Swiss troops, 
and the military who surrounded the Palais Royal,* that the 
people were possessed of arms. 

The shade of Richelieu was Mazarin. Now Mazarin was 
alone and defenseless as he well knew. 

" Foreigner!" he ejaculated, " Italian! that is their mean 
word of reproach the watchword with which they assassi 
nated, hanged, and made away with Concini, and if I gave 
them their way they would assassinate, hang, and make 
away with me in the same manner, although they have noth 
ing to complain of, except a tax or two now and then. 
Idiots! ignorant of their real enemies, they do not perceive 
that it is not the Italian who speaks French badly, but those 
who can say fine things to them in the purest Parisian accent 
who are their real foes. 

"Yes, yes/' Mazarin continued, while his wonted smile, 
full of subtlety, gave a strange expression to his pale lips; 
" yes, these noises prove to me, indeed, that the destiny of 
favorites is precarious; but ye should know that I am no or 
dinary favorite. No! the Earl of Essex, 'tis true, wore a 
splendid ring, set with diamonds, given him by his royal mis 
tress; while I I have nothing but a simple circlet of gold 
with a cypher on it and a date; but that ring has been blessed 
in the chapel of the Palais Royal, f so they will never ruin me 
as they would do; and while they shout, ' Down with 
Mazarin!' I, unknown and unperceived by them, incite them 
to cry out, ' Long live the Duke de Beaufort ' one day; 
another, ' Long live the Prince de Conde;' and again, * Long 
live the Parliament!'" And, at this word, the smile on the 
the cardinal's lips assumed an expression of hatred, of which 
his mild countenance seemed incapable. " The parliament! 
We shall soon see how to dispose," he continued, "of the 
parliament! Both Orleans and Montargis are ours. It 
will be a work of time! but those who have begun by crying 
out, 'Down with Mazarin!' will finish by shouting out 

* The Palais Royal ceased to be called the Palais Cardinal before this 
epoch. 

f It is said that Maznrin, who, though a cardinal, had not taken such 
vows as to prevent it, was secretly married to Anne of Austria. La 
Porte's Memoirs. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 3 

Down with all the people I have mentioned, each in his 
turn. 

" Richelieu, whom they hated during his lifetime, and 
whom they now praise after his death, was even less popular 
than I am. Often was he driven away of tener still had he 
a dread of being sent away. The queen will never banish 
me; and even were I obliged to yield to the populace, she 
would yield with me; if I fly, she will fly; and then we shall 
see how the rebels will get on without either king or queen. 

"Oh, were I not a foreigner! were I but a Frenchman! 
would I were even merely a gentleman!" 

The position of the cardinal was, indeed, critical, and sev 
eral recent events added to his difficulties. Discontent had 
long pervaded the lower ranks of society in France. Crushed 
and impoverished by taxation imposed by Mazarin, whose 
avarice impelled him to grind them down to the very dust 
the people, as the Advocate-General Talon described it, had 
nothing left to them except their souls; and as those could 
not be sold by auction, they began to murmur. Patience had 
in vain been recommended to them, by reports of brilliant vic 
tories gained by France; laurels, however, were not meat and 
drink; and the people had for some time been in a state of 
discontent. 

Had this been all, it might not, perhaps, have greatly sig 
nified; for, when the lower classes alone complained, the 
court of France, separated as it was from the poor by the in 
tervening classes of the gentry and the bourgeoisie, seldom 
listened to their voice; but, unluckily, Mazariu had had the 
imprudence to attack the magistrates, and had sold no less 
than ten appointments in the Court of Requests, at a high 
price; and, as the officers of that court paid very dear fo( 
their places, and as the addition of twelve new colleagues 
would necessarily lower the value of each place, the old func 
tionaries formed an union among themselves, and, enraged, 
swore on the Bible not to allow this addition to their number, 
but to resist all the persecutions which might ensue; and 
should any one of them chance to forfeit his post by this re 
sistance, to combine to indemnify him for his loss. 

Now the following occurrences had taken place between 
the two contending parties. 

On the seventh of January, between seven and eight hun 
dred tradesmen had assembled in Paris to discuss a new tax 
which was to be levied on house property. They deputed ten 
of their number to wait upon the Duke of Orleans, who, ac 
cording to custom, affected popularity. The duke received 



4 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

them, and they informed him that they were resolved not to 
pay this tax, even if they were obliged to defend themselves 
against the collectors of it by force of arms. They were lis 
tened to with great politeness by the duke, who held out 
hopes of more moderate measures; promised them to speak 
in their behalf to the queen; and dismissed them with ihe or 
dinary expression of royalty " We shall see what we can 
do/' 

Two days afterward these same magistrates appeared before 
the cardinal, and the spokesman among them addressed Maz- 
arin with so much fearlessness and determination, that the 
minister was astounded, and sent the deputation away with 
the same answer as it had received from the Duke of Orleans 
that he would see what could be done: and, in accordance 
with that intention, a council of state was assembled, and the 
superintendent of finance was summoned. 

This man, named Emery, was the object of popular detes 
tation in the first place, because he was superintendent of 
finance, and every superintendent of finance deserved to be 
hated; in the second place, because he rather deserved the 
odium which he had incurred. 

He was the son of a banker at Lyons, named Particelli, who, 
after becoming a bankrupt, choose to change his name to 
Emery; and Cardinal Richelieu, having discovered in young 
Emery great financial aptitude, had introduced him with a 
strong recommendation to Louis XIII. under his assumed 
name, in order that he might be appointed to the post which 
he subsequently held. 

" You surprise me!" exclaimed the monarch. " I am rejoiced 
to hear you speak of Monsieur d'Emery as calculated for a 
post which requires a man of probity. I was really afraid that 
you were going to force that villain Particelli upon me." 

" Sire," replied Richelieu, " rest assured that Particelli 
the man to whom your majesty refers has been hanged." 

"Ah, so much the better!" exclaimed the king. " It is 
not for nothing that I am styled Louis the Just " and he 
signed Emery's appointment. 

This was the same Emery who had become eventually su 
perintendent of finance. 

He was sent for by the ministers, and he came before them 
pale and trembling, declaring that his son had very nearly 
been assassinated the day before near the palace. The mob 
had insulted him on account of the ostentatious luxury of his 
wife, whose house was hung with red velvet, edged with gold 
fringe. This lady was the daughter of Nicholas de Camus, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 5 

who had arrived in Paris with twenty francs in his pocket 
had become secretary of state and had accumulated wealth 
enough to divide nine millions of francs among his children, 
and to keep forty thousand for himself. 

The fact was, that Emery's son had run a great chance of 
being suffocated; one of the rioters having proposed to squeeze 
him until he gave up all the gold he had swallowed. Noth 
ing, therefore, was settled that day, as Emery's head was not 
steady enough for business after such an occurrence. 

Other disturbances had followed this outrage. 

Matthew Mole, chief president of the parliament, and 
esteemed equal in courage to Conde and De Beaufort, had 
been insulted and threatened. The queen in going to mass 
at Notre Dame, as she always did on Saturdays, was followed 
by more than two hundred women, demanding justice. 
These poor creatures had no bad intentions. They wished 
only to be allowed to fall on their knees before their sover 
eign, and that they might move her to compassion; but they 
were prevented by the royal guard, and the queen proceeded 
on her way, haughtily disdainful of their entreaties. 

At length parliament was convoked the authority of 
the king was to be maintained. 

One day it was the morning of that when my story be 
gins the king, Louis XIV., then ten years of age, went in 
state, under pretext of returning thanks for his recovery from 
the smallpox, to Notre Dame. He took the opportunity of 
calling out his guard, the Swiss troops, and the musketeers, 
and he had planted them round the Palais Koyal, on the 
quays, and on the Pont Neuf. After mass the young mon 
arch drove to the parliament house, where, upon the throne, 
he hastily confirmed not only the edicts which he had already 
passed, but issued new ones; each one, according to Cardinal 
de Retz, more ruinous than the others a proceeding which 
drew forth a strong remonstrance from the chief president 
Mole while President Blancmesnil and Councillor Broussel 
raised their voices in indignation against fresh taxes. 

The king returned amid the silence of a vast multitude to 
the Palais Royal. All minds were uneasy most were fore 
boding many of the people using threatening language. 

At first, indeed, they were doubtful whether the king's 
visit to the parliament had been in order to lighten or to in 
crease their burdens; but scarcely was it known that the taxes 
were even to be increased, than cries of " Down with Maz- 
arin!" "Long live Broussel!" "Long live Blancmesnil!" 
resounded through the city. All attempts to disperse the 



G TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

groups now collected in the streets, or to silence their excla 
mations, were vain. Orders had just been given to the royal 
guard, and to the Swiss guards, not only to stand firm, but 
to send out patrols to the streets of Saint Denis and Saint 
Martin, where the people thronged, and where they were the 
most vociferous, when the mayor of Paris was announced at 
the Palais Royal. 

He was shown in directly; he came to say that if these 
offensive precautions were not discontinued, in two hours 
Paris would be under arms. 

Deliberations were being held, when a lieutenant in the 
guards, named Comminges, made his appearance, with his 
clothes all torn, his face streaming with blood. The queen, 
on seeing him, uttered a cry of surprise, and asked him what 
was going on. 

As the mayor had foreseen, the sight of the guards had ex 
asperated the mob. The tocsin was sounded. Comminges 
had arrested one of the ringleaders, and had ordered him to 
be hanged near the cross of Du Trahoir; but, in attempting 
to execute this command, the soldiery were attacked in the 
market-place with stones and halberds; the delinquents all 
escaped to the Rue des Lombards, and rushed into a house. 
They broke open the doors, and searched the dwelling, but in 
vain. Comminges, wounded by a stone which had struck 
him on the forehead, had left a picquet in the street, and re 
turned to the Palais Royal, followed by a menacing crowd, to 
tell his story. 

This account confirmed that of the mayor. The authori 
ties were not in a condition to contend with a serious revolt. 
Mazarin endeavored to circulate among the people a report 
that troops had only been stationed on the quays, and on the 
Pont Neuf, on account of the ceremonial of the day, and 
that they would soon withdraw. In fact, about four o'clock 
they were all concentrated about the Palais Royal, the courts 
and ground floors of which were filled with musketeers and 
Swiss guards, and there awaited the event of all this dis 
turbance. 

Such was the state of affairs at the very moment when we 
introduced our readers into the study of Cardinal Mazarin 
once that of Cardinal Richelieu. We have seen in what state 
of mind he listened to the murmurs from below, which even 
reached him in his seclusion, and to the guns, the firing of 
which resounded in that room. All at once he raised his 
head: his brow slightly contracted, like that of a man who 
has formed a resolution; he fixed his eyes upon an enormous 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. / 

clock which was about to strike ten, and taking up a whistle 
of silver gilt, which was placed on the table near him, he 
whistled twice. 

A door hidden in the tapestry opened noiselessly, and a 
man in black stood behind the chair on which Mazarin sat. 

" Bernouin," said the cajdinal, not turning round, for, 
having whistled, he knew that it was his valet-de-chambre 
who was behind him, "what musketeers are there in the 
palace?" 

'The Black Musketeers, my lord." 

'What company?" 

' Treville's company." 

' Is there any officer belonging to this company in the ante 
chamber?" 

'Lieutenant d'Artagnan." 

'A man on whom we can depend, I hope." 

'Yes, my lord." 

' Give me a uniform of one of these musketeers, and help 
me to dress." 

The valet went out as silently as he came in, and appeared 
in a few minutes, bringing the dress which was asked for. 

The cardinal, in deep thought and in silence, began to take 
off the robes of state which he had assumed in order to be 
present at the sitting of parliament, and to attire himself in 
the military coat, which he wore with a certain degree of easy 
grace, owing to his former campaigns in Italy. When he was 
completely dressed, he said: 

"Bring Monsieur d'Artagnan hither." 
The valet went out of the room, this time by the center 
door, but still as silently as before; one might have fancied 
him an apparition. 

When he was left alone, the cardinal looked at himself in 
the glass with a feeling of self-satisfaction. Still young for 
he was scarcely forty-six years of age he possessed great 
elegance of form, and was above the middle height; his com 
plexion was brilliant and beautiful; his glance full of expres 
sion; his nose, though large, was well-proportioned; his fore 
head broad' and majestic; his hair, of a chestnut color, was 
rather frizzed; his beard, which was darker than his hair, was 
turned carefully with a curling-iron, a practice which greatly 
improved it. After a short time the cardinal arranged his 
shoulder-belt, then looked with great complacency at his 
hands, which were very beautiful, and of which lie took the 
greatest care; and throwing on one side the large kid gloves 
which he tried on at first, as belonging to the uniform, he put 
on others of silk only. At this instant the door opened. 



8 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan," said the valet-de-chambre. 

An officer, as he spoke, entered the apartment. He was a 
man between thirty-nine and forty years of age, of a small 
but well-proportioned figure; thin, with an intellectual and 
animated physiognomy; his beard black and his hair turning 
gray, as often happens when people have found this life either 
too gay or too sad, more especially when they happen to be of 
a dark complexion. 

D'Artagnan advanced a few steps into the apartment. Ho\r 
perfectly he remembered his former entrance into that very 
room. Seeing, however, no one there except a musketeer of 
his own troop, he fixed his eyes upon the supposed soldier, in 
whose dress, nevertheless, he recognized, at the first glance, 
the cardinal. 

The lieutenant remained standing in a dignified but respect 
ful posture, such as became a man of good birth, who had in 
the course of his life been frequently in the society of the 
highest nobles. 

^he cardinal looked at him with a glance, cunning rather 
than serious; yet he examined his countenance with attention, 
and after a momentary silence said: 

" Yon are Monsieur d'Artagnan?" 

" I am that individual," replied the officer. 

Mazarin gazed once more at a countenance full of intelli 
gence, the play of which had been nevertheless subdued by 
age nnd experience; and D'Artagnan received the penetrating 
glance like one who had formerly sustained many a searching 
look, very different, indeed, from those which were inquiringly 
directed toward him at that instant. 

" Sir," resumed the cardinal, "you are to come with me, 
or rather I am to go with you." 

" I am at your commands, my lord/' returned D'Artagnan. 

" I wish to visit in person the outposts which surround the 
Palais Royal. Do you suppose that there is any danger in so 
doing?" 

" Danger, my lord!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, with a look of 
astonishment; " what danger?" 

" I am told that there is a general insurrection.' 5 

" The uniform of the king's musketeers carries a certain 
respect with it; and even if that were not the case, I wmild 
engage, with four of my men, to put to flight an hundred of 
these clowns." 

" Did you witness the injuries sustained by Comminges?" 

" Monsieur de Comminges is in the guards, and not in the 
musketeers " 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 9 

" Which means, I suppose, that the musketeers are better 
soldiers than the guards." The cardinal smiled as he spoke. 

" Every one likes his own uniform best, my lord." 

"Myself excepted;" and again Mazarin smiled; "for you 
perceive that I have left off mine, and put on yours." 

"Lord bless us! this is modesty, indeed," cried D'Artag- 
nan. " Had I such a uniform as your eminence possesses, I 
protest I should be mighty content; and I would take an oath 
never to wear any other costume " 

"Yes, but for to-night's adventure, I don't suppose my 
dress would have been a very safe one. Give me my felt hat, 
Bernouin." 

The valet instantly brought to his master a regimental hat 
with a wide brim. The cardinal put it on in a military style. 

" Your horses are already saddled in their stables, are they 
not?" he said, turning to D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, my lord." 

" Well, let us set out." 

" How many men does your eminence wish to escort you?" 

" You say that with four men you will undertake to dis 
perse a hundred low fellows; as it may happen that we shall 
have to encounter two hundred, take eight " 

" As many as my lord wishes." 

" I shall follow you. This way light us downstairs, 
Bernonin." 

The valet held a wax-light; the cardinal took a key from 
his bureau, and opening the door of a secret stair, descended 
into the court of the Palais Royal. 



CHAPTER II. 

A NIGHTLY PATROL. 

IN TEN minutes Mazarin and his party were traversing the 
street "Les Bons Eiiftms," behind the theater built by Riche 
lieu expressly for the play of " Mirame," and in which Maza 
rin, who was an amateur of music, but not of literature, had 
introduced into France the first opera that was ever acted in 
that country. 

The appearance of the town denoted the greatest agita 
tion. Numberless groups paraded the streets; and, whatever 
D'Artagnau might think of it, it was obvious that the citi 
zens had for the night laid aside their usual forbearance, 
in order to assume a warlike aspect. From time to time 



10 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

noises came in the direction of the public markets. The re 
port of firearms was heard near the Rue St. Denis, and 
occasionally church bells began to ring indiscriminately, and 
at the caprice of the populace. D'Artagnan, meantime, pur 
sued his way with the indifference of a man upon whom such 
acts of folly made no impression. The cardinal envied his 
composure, which he ascribed to the habit of encountering' 
danger. On approaching an outpost near the Barriere des 
Sergens, the sentinel cried out, "Who's there?" and D'Artag 
nan answered having first asked the word of the cardinal 
" Louis and Rocroy." After which he inquired if Lieutenant 
Comminges were not the commanding officer at the outpost. 
The soldier replied by pointing out to him an officer who was 
conversing, on foot, with his hand upon the neck of a horse 
on which the individual to whom he was talking sat. Here 
was the officer whom D'Artagnan was seeking. 

"Here is Monsieur Commfnges," said D'Artagnan, return 
ing to the cardinal. He instantly retired, from a respectful 
delicacy; it was, however, evident that the cardinal was 
recognized by both Comminges and the other officer on 
horseback. 

" Well done, Guitant," cried the cardinal to the equestrian; 
"I see plainly, that notwithstanding the sixty-four years 
which have passed over your head, you are still the same 
man, active and zealous. What were you saying to this 
youngster?" 

" My lord," replied Guitant, " I was observing that we live 
in strange times, and that to-day's events are very like those 
in the days of the Ligue, of which I heard so much in my 
youth. Are you aware that the mob have even suggested 
throwing up barricades in the Rue Saint Denis and the Rue 
Saint Antoine?" 

" And what was Commiuges saying to you in reply, dear 
Guitant?" 

" My lord," said Comminges, " I answered that to compose 
ft Ligue, only one ingredient was wanting in my opinion an 
essential one a Due de Guise moreover, no one ever does 
the same thing twice over." 

" No, but they mean to make a Fronde, as they call it," 
said Gnitant. 

"And what is a Fronde?" inquired Mazarin. 

" My lord, a Fronde is the name that the discontented give 
to their party." 

" And what is the origin of this name?" 

" It seems that some days since, Counsellor Backaumont 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEK. 11 

remarsed at the palace that rebels and agitators reminded 
him of schoolboys slinging stones from the moats round Paris 
- young urchins who run off the moment the constable 
appears, only to return to their diversion the instant that his 
back is turned. So they have picked up the word, and the 
insurrectionists are called ' Frondeurs;' and yesterday every 
article sold was ' a la Fronde;' bread * a la Fronde/ hats 'a la 
Fronde/ to say nothing of gloves, pocket handkerchiefs, and 

fans but listen " 

At that moment a window opened, a man began to sing 

*' A breeze from the Fronde 
Blew to-day; 
I think that it blows 
Against Mazarin." 

" Insolent wretch !" cried Guitant. 

" My lord/' said Comminges, who, irritated by his wounds, 
wished for revenge, and longed to give back blow for blow, 
" shall I fire off a ball to punish that jester, and to warn him 
not to sing so much out of tune in future?" 

And, as he spoke, he put his hand on the holster of his 
uncle's saddle-bow. 

"Certainly not certainly not!" exclaimed Mazarin. 
" Diavolo! my dear friend, you are going to spoil everything 
everything is going on famously. I know the French as 
well as if I had made them myself from first to last. They 
sing let them pay the piper. During the Ligue, about 
which Guitant was speaking just now, the people chanted 
nothing except the mass, so everything went to destruction. 
Come, Guitant, come along, and let's see if they keep watch 
at the Quinze-Vingts as at the Barriere des Sergeus." 

And, waving his hand to Comminges, he rejoined D'Artag- 
nan, who instantly put himself at the head of his troop, fol 
lowed by the cardinal, Guitant, and the rest of the escort. 

"Just so," muttered Comminges, looking after Mazarin. 
" True, I forgot provided he can get money out of the 
people, that is all he wants." 

The street of Saint Honore, when the cardinal and his 
party passed through it, was crowded by an assemblage, who, 
standing in groups, discussed the edicts of that memorable 
day they pitied the young king, who was unconsciously 
ruining his country, and threw all the odium of his proceed 
ings on Mazarin. * Addresses to the Duke of Orleans and to 
Conde were suggested. Blancmesnil and Broussel seemed in 
high favor. 



12 TWENTY TBAES AFTER. 

D'Artagnan passed through the very midst of this discon 
tented multitude, just as if his horse and he had been made 
of iron. Mazarin and Guitant conversed together in whispers. 
The musketeers, who had already discovered who Mazarin 
was, followed in profound silence. In the street of Saint 
Th omas-du- Louvre, they stopped at that barrier which was 
distinguished by the name of Quinze-Vingts. Here Guitant 
spoke to one of the subalterns, and asked him how matters 
went on. 

"Ah, captain!" said the officer, "everything is quiet here 
abouts if I did not know that something is going on in 
yonder house I" 

And he pointed to a magnificent hotel, situated on the very 
spot whereon the Vaudeville now stands. 

"In that hotel? it is the Hotel Rambouillet," cried 
Guitant. 

" I really don't know what hotel it is all I do know is that I 
observed some suspicious-looking people go in there " 

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Guitant, with a burst of laughter, 
" those men must be poets." 

" Come, Guitant, speak, if you please, respectfully of these 
gentlemen," said Mazarin; " don't you know that I was in my 
youth a poet? I wrote verses in the style of Beuserade " 

"You, my lord?" 

" Yes, I shall I repeat to you some of my verses?" 

"Just as you please, my lord. I do not understand 
Italian." 

" Yes, but you understand French;" and Mazarin laid his 
hand upon Guitant's shoulder. "My good, my brave Guitant, 
whatsoever command I may give you in that language in 
French whatever I may order you to do, will you not do it?" 

" Certainly. I have already answered that question in the 
affirmative; but that command must come from the queen 
herself." 

"Yes! ah, yes!" (Mazarin bit his lips as he spoke.) "I 
know your devotion to her majesty." 

" I have been a captain in the queen's guards for twenty 
years," was the reply. 

D'Artagnan, in the meantime, had taken the head of his 
detachment without a word, and with that ready and pro 
found obedience which marks the character of an old soldier. 

He led the way toward the hut of Saint Roche. The Rue 
Richelieu and the Rue Villedot were then, owing to their 
vicinity to the ramparts, less frequented than any others in 
that direction, for the town was thinly inhabited thereabouts. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 13 

He therefore chose these streets to pass through in preference 
to those more crowded. 

" Who is in command here?" asked the cardinal. 

" Villequier, " said Guitant. 

" Diavolo! Speak to him yourself, for ever since yon were 
deputed by me to arrest the Due de Beaufort, this officer and 
I have been on bad terms. He laid claim to that honor as 
captain of the royal guards." 

Guitant accordingly rode forward, and desired the sentinel 
to call Monsieur de Villequier. 

" Ah! so you are here!" cried the officer, in a tone of ill- 
humor habitual to him; " what the devil are you doing here?" 

" I wish to know can you tell me, pray is there anything 
fresh happening in this part of the town?" 

" What do you mean? People cry out, ' Long live the king! 
down with Mazarin ' that's nothing new no, we've been 
used to those acclamations for some time." 

"And you sing chorus," replied Guitant, laughing. 

" Faith, I've half a mind to do it. In my opinion the 
people are right: and cheerfully would I give up five years of 
my pay which I am never paid, by the way to make the 
king five years older." 

" Really! And pray what is to come to pass supposing the 
king were five years older than he is?" 

" As soon as ever the king comes of age, he will issue his 
commands himself, and 'tis far pleasaiiter to obey the grand 
son of Henry IV. than the grandson of Peter Mazarin. 
S'death! I would die willingly for the king; but supposing I 
happened to be killed on account of Mazarin, as your nephew 
was near being to-day, there could be nothing in Baradise 
so well off as I have been in this world that could console me 
for being a martyr." 

" Well, well, Monsieur de Villequier," here Mazarin 
interposed, " I shall take care that the king hears of your 
loyalty. Come, gentlemen," he addressed the troop, " let us 
return." 

"Stop," exclaimed Villequier; "so, Mazarin is here! so 
much the better. I have been wanting for a long time to tell 
him what I think of him. I'm obliged to you, Guitant, for 
this opportunity." 

He turned away, and went off to his post, whistling a tune, 
then popular among the party called the " Fronde," while 
Mazarin returned, in a pensive mood, toward the Palais Royal. 
All that he had heard from these three different men, Com- 
minges, Guitant, and Villequier, confirmed him in his con- 



14 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

viction that^m case of serious tumults there would be no. one 
on his side except the queen: and then, Anne of Austria had 
BO often deserted her friends, that her support seemed very 
precarious. During the whole of this noctural ride, during 
the whole time that he was endeavoring to understand the 
various characters of Comminges, Guitant, and Villequier, 
Mazarin was, in truth, studying more especially one man. 
This man who had remained immovable when menaced by 
the mob not a muscle of whose face was altered either by 
Mazarin's witticisms, or by the jests of the multitude 
seemed to the cardinal a peculiar being, who, having partici 
pated in past events similar to those which were now occur 
ring, was calculated to cope with those which were on the eve 
of taking place. 

The name of D'Artagnan was not altogether new to Maz 
arin, who, although he had not arrived in France before the 
year 1634, or 1635, that is to say, about eight or nine years 
after the events which we have related in a preceding narra 
tive,* fancied that he had heard it pronounced, in reference 
to one who was said to be a model of courage, address, and 
loyalty. 

Possessed by this idea, the cardinal resolved to know all 
about D'Artagnan immediately; of course he could not inquire 
from D'Artagnan himself who he was, and what had been his 
career; he remarked, however, in the course of conversation, 
that the lieutenant of musketeers spoke with a Gascon accent. 
Now the Italians and the Gascons are too much alike, and 
know each other too well, ever to trust to what any one of 
them may say of himself; so, on reaching the walls which sur 
rounded the Palais Royal, the cardinal knocked at a little 
door, and after thanking D'Artagnan, and requesting him to 
wait in the court of the Palais Royal, he made a sign to Gui 
tant to follow him in. 

" My dear friend," said the cardinal, leaning, as they 
walked through the gardens, on his friend's arm, "you 
told me just now that you had been twenty years in the 
queen's service.'* 

"Yes, 'tis true; I have," returned Guitant. 

"Now, my dear Guitant, I have often remarked that in 
addition to your courage which is indisputable, and to 
your fidelity which is invincible, you possess an admirable 
memory." 

* In the " Three Guardsmen." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 15 

"You have found that out, have you, my lord ? Deuce 
take it all the worse for me!" 

"How?" 

" There's no doubt but that one of the chief qualities in a 
courtier is to know when to forget." 

" But you, Guitant, are not a courtier. You are a brave 
soldier, one of the few remaining veterans of the days of 
Henry IV. alas! how few exist still! " 

"Plague on't, my lord have you brought me here to get 
my horoscope out of me?" 

" No I only brought you here to ask yon," returned 
Mazarin, smiling, " if you have taken any particular notice 
of our lieutenant of musketeers?" 

" Monsieur D'Artagnan? I do not care to notice him par 
ticularly; he's an old acquaintance. He's a Gascon. DeTre'ville 
knows him, and esteems him greatly, and De Treville, as you 
know, is one of the queen's greatest friends. As a soldier the 
man ranks well: he did his duty, and even more than his 
duty, at the siege of Rochelle as well as at Suze and Per- 
pignan." 

"But you know, Guitant, we poor ministers often want 
men with other qualities besides courage; we want men of tal 
ent. Pray was not Monsieur d'Artagnan, in the time of the 
cardinal, mixed up in some intrigue from which he oame out, 
according to report, rather cleverly?" 

"My lord, as to the report you allude to" Guitant per 
ceived that the cardinal wished to make him speak ont "I 
know nothing but what the public knows. I never meddle in 
intrigues; and if I occasionally become a confidant in the in 
trigues of others, I am sure your eminence will approve of my 
keeping them secret." 

Mazarin shook his head. 

"Ah!" he said; "some ministers are very fortunate, and 
find out all that they wish to know." 

" My lord," replied Guitant, "such ministers do not weigh 
men in the same balance; they get their information on war 
from the warriors; on intrigues, from the politician. Consult 
some politician of the period of which you speak, and if you 
pay well for it, ,you will certainly get to know all you want. " 

Mazarin, with a grimace which he always made when spo 
ken to about money " People must be paid one can't do 
otherwise," he said. 

" Does my lord seriously wish me to name any one who has 
been mixed up in the cabals of that day?" 

" By Bacchus!" rejoined Mazarin, impatiently, "it's about 



16 TWENTY YEARS A FT Kit. 

an hour ago since I asked you a question about d'Artagnan, 
wood en- headed as you are." 

" There is one man for whom I can answer, if he will speak 
out." 

" That's my concern; I must make him speak." 

" Ah! my lord, 'tis not easy to make people say what they 
don't wish to let out." 

" Pooh! patience (we are coming to it at last). Well, this 
man. Who is he?" 

"The Comte de Rochefort." 

" The Comte de Rochefort!" 

"Unfortunately he has disappeared these four or five 
years, and I don't know where he is." 

"/ know, Guitant," said Mazariu. 

" Well, then, how is it that your eminence complained just 
now of want of information on some points?" 

" You think," resumed Mazarin, " that Rochefort " 

" He was Cardinal Richelieu's creature, my lord. 1 warn 
you, however, his services will be expensive. The cardinal 
was lavish to his underlings." 

"Yes, yes, Guitant," said Mazarin; "Richelieu was a 
great man, a very great man, but he had that defect. Thanks, 
Gnitant; I shall benefit by your advice this very evening." 

Here they separated, and bidding adieu to Guitant in the 
court of the Palais Royal, Mazarin approached an officer 
who was walking up and down within that enclosure. 

It was D'Artagnan, who was waiting for him. 

" Come hither," said Mazarin, in his softest voice, " I have 
an order to give you." 

D'Artagnan bent low, and following the cardinal up the 
secret staircase, soon found himself in the study whence he 
had first set out. 

The cardinal seated himself before his bureau, and takings 
sheet of paper, wrote some lines upon it, while D'Artagnan 
remained standing, imperturbable, and without showing 
either impatience or curiosity. He was like a military au 
tomaton acting (or, rather, obeying the will of others) upon 
springs. 

The cardinal folded and sealed his letter. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan," he said, "you are to take this 
dispatch to the Bastille, and to bring back here the person 
whom it concerns. You must take a carriage and an escort, 
and guard the prisoner carefully." 

D'Artagnan took the letter, touched his hat with his hand, 
turned round upon his heel, like a drill-sergeant, and, a mo- 



TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 17 

ment afterward, was heard in his dry and monotonous tone, 
commanding, " Four men and an escort, a carriage and a 
horse." Five minutes afterward the wheels of the carriage 
and the horses' shoes were heard resounding on the pavement 
of the courtyard. 



CHAPTER III. 

OLD ANIMOSITIES. 

D'Artagnan arrived at the Bastile jusf as it was striking 
half-past eight. His visit was announced to the governor, 
who, on hearing that he came from the cardinal, went to 
meet him, and received him at the top of the great flight of 
steps outside the door. The governor of the Bastille was 
Monsieur du Tremblay, the brother of the famous capuchin, 
Joseph, that fearful favorite of Richelieu's, who went by the 
name of the Gray Cardinal. . 

During the period that the Due de Bassompierre passed in 
the Bastille where he remained for twelve whole years 
when his companions, in their dreams of liberty, said to each 
other, " As for me, I shall go out of prison at such a time," 
and another, at such and such a time, the duke used to an 
swer, "As for me, gentlemen, I shall leave only when Mon 
sieur du Tremblay leaves;" meaning that at the death of the 
cardinal, Du Tretnbl y would certainly lose his place at the 
Basttile, and then De Bassompierre would regain his at court. 

His prediction was nearly being fulfilled, but in a very dif 
ferent way to that which De Bassompierre supposed; for, 
after the death of Richelieu, everything went on, contrary to 
expectation, in the same way as before; and Bassompierre had 
little chance of leaving his prison. 

Monsieur du Tremblay received D'Artagnan with extreme 
politeness, and invited him to sit down with him to supper, 
of which he was himself about to partake. 

" I should be delighted to do so," was the reply; " but if I 
am not much mistaken, the words, ' In haste/ are written oil 
the envelope of the Tetter which I -brought." 

" You are right," said Du Tremblay. " Halloo, major, 
tell them to ordei number 256 to come downstairs." 

The unhappy wretch who entered into the Bastille ceased, 
as he crossed the threshold, to be a man, and became a 
number. 

D'Artagnan shuddered at the noise of the keys; he there- 



18 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

fore remained on horseback, having no inclination to dis 
mount, and sat looking at the bars, at the thick strong 
windows, and the immense walls which he had hitherto only 
seen from the other side of the moat, and by which he had, 
for twenty years, been awestruck. 

A bell sounded. 

" I must leave you," said Du Tremblay; "I am sent for to 
sign the release of the prisoner. I shall be happy to meet you 
again, sir." 

"May the devil annihilate me if I return thy wish!" mur 
mured t)'Artagnan, smiling as he pronounced the impreca 
tion; "I declare I feel quite ill, after only being five minutes 
in the courtyard. Go to go to! I should rather die upon 
straw, than hoard up five hundred a-year by being governor of 
the Bastille." 

He had scarcely finished this soliloquy before the prisoner 
arrived. On seeing him D'Artagnan could hardly suppress 
an exclamation of surprise. The prisoner did not seem, how 
ever, to recognize the musketeer. 

" Gentlemen/' thus D'Artagnan addressed the four mus 
keteers, " I am ordered to exercise the greatest possible care 
in guarding the prisoner; and since there are no locks to the 
carriage, I shall sit beside him. Monsieur de Lillebonne, lead 
my horse by the bridle, if you please." As he spoke he dis 
mounted, gave the bridle of his horse to the musketeer, and 
placing himself by the side of the prisoner, said, in a voice 
perfectly composed, ' To the Palais Koyal, at a full trot." 

The carriage drove on, and D'Artagnan, availing himself 
of the darkness of the archway under which they were pas 
sing, threw himself into the arms of the prisoner. 

"Rochefort!" he exclaimed; "you is it you; you indeed? 
I am not mistaken?" 

"D'Artagnan!" cried Rochefort. 

"Ah my poor friend!" resumed D'Artaguan, " not hav 
ing seen you for four or five years, I concluded that you 
were dead." 

"Ffaith," said Rochefort, "there's no great difference, I 
think, between a dead man and one who has been buried alive; 
now I have been buried alive, or very nearly so." 

" And for what crime are you imprisoned in the Bastille?" 

" Do you wish me to speak the truth to you?" 

" Yes." 

"Well, then, I don't know." 

" Have you any suspicion of me, Rochefort?" 

"No! on the honor of a gentleman; but I cannot be im 
prisoned for the reason alleged it is impossible." 



TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 19 

" What reason?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" For stealing." 

"For stealing! you Rochefort you are laughing at me. 
It is impossible that it could have been that, my dear Roche- 
fort, which was alleged against you; it is a mere pretext; but 
you will, perhaps, soon know on what account you have been 
in prison." 

" Ah, indeed ! I forgot to ask you where are you taking 
me?" 

" To the cardinal." 

" What does he want with me?" 

" I do not know. I did not even know that you were the 
person whom I was sent to fetch." 

" Impossible! You a favorite of the minister!" 

"A favorite! no, indeed!" cried D'Artagnan. "Ah, my 
poor friend! I am just as poor a Gascon as when I saw you at 
Meung, twenty-two years ago, you know; alas!" and he con 
cluded his speech with a deep sigh. 

" Nevertheless, you come as one in authority." 

" Because I happened to be in the antechamber when the 
cardinal called me, just by chance. I am still a lieutenant in 
the musketeers, and have been so these twenty years." 

" Then no misfortune has happened to you." 

" And what misfortune could happen to me? To quote 
some Latin verses which I have forgotten, or rather, never 
known well, 'the thunderbolt never falls on the valleys;' and 
I am a valley, dear Rochefort, and one of the lowest that can 
be." 

" Then Mazarin is still Mazarin?" 

"The same as ever, my friend; it is said that he is married 
to the queen?" 

"Married?" 

"If not her husband, he is unquestionably her lover. " 

"You surprise me; to resist Buckingham, and yield to 
Mazarin." 

"Just like the women,*' replied D'Artagnan, coolly. 

"Like women but not like queens." 

" Egad! queens are the weakest of their sex, when we come 
to such matters as these." 

The count then made several minute inquiries after his 
friends. The Due de Beaufort, was he still in prison? To 
this D'Artagnan answered in the affirmative. 

" And," said the prisoner, " what talk is there of war with 
Spain?" 

"With Spain no," answered D'Artagnan; "but with 
Paris." 



20 TWENTY TEARS ATKB. 

" Wlmt do you mean?" cried Rochefort. 

"Do you hear the guns, pray? The citizens are amusing 
themselves in the meantime. 

" And you do you really think that anything could be 
done with these bourgeois ? " 

" Yes, they might do well, if they had any leader to unite 
them in one body." 

" How miserable not to be free!" 

"Don't be downcast. Since Mazarin has sent for you, it is 
because he wants you. I congratulate you! Many a long 
year has passed since any one lias wanted to employ me; so 
you see in what a situation I am." 

" Make your complaints known; that's my advice." 

" Listen, Rochefort; let's make a compact. We are friends, 
are we not?" 

"Egad! I bear the traces of our friendship three cuts 
from your sword." 

" Well, if you should be restored to favor, don't forget me." 

" On the honor of a Rochefort; but you must do the like 
for me." 

"There's my hand I promise." 

" Therefore, whenever you find an opportunity of saying 
something in my behalf " 

"I shall say it; and you?" 

" I shall do the same." 

"Apropos, are we to speak about your friends as well 
Athos, Porthos, and Aramis? or have you forgotten them?" 

"Almost!" 

" What's become of them?" 

" I don't know; we separated, as you know. They are 

alive, and that's all I can say about them. From time to 

time I hear of them indirectly, but in what part of the world 

they are, devil take me if I know. No, on my honor, I have 

x not a friend in the world but you, Rochefort." 

" And the illustrious what's the name of the lad whom I 
made a sergeant in Piedmont's regiment? 

" Planchet?" 

" The illustrious Planchet. What's become of him?" 

" I shouldn't wonder if he is not at the head of the mob aC 
this very moment. He married a woman who keeps a con 
fectioner's shop in the Rue des Lombards; for he's a lad thai 
was always fond of sweetmeats; he's now a citizen of Paris. 
You'll see that that queer fellow will be a sheriff before ) 
shall be a captain." 

" Come, dear D'Artagnau, look up a little courage. It is 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 21 

when one is lowest on the wheel of fortune, that the wheel 
turns round and raises us. This evening your destiny begins 
to change." 

" Amen!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, stopping the carriage. 

He got out, and remounted his steed, not wishing to arrive 
at the gate of the Palais Royal in the same carriage with the 
prisoner. 

In a few minutes the party entered the courtyard, and 
D'Artagnan led the prisoner up the great staircase, and across 
the corridor and antechamber. 

As they stopped at the door of the cardinal's study, D'Ar 
tagnan was about to be announced, when Rochefort slapped 
him on his shoulder. 

" D'Artagnan, let me confess to you what I've been think 
ing about during the whole of my drive, as I looked out upon 
the parties of citizens who perpetually crossed our path, and 
looked at you and your four men, with their flambeaux." 

" Speak out," answered D'Artagnan. 

''I had only to cry out ' Help!' for you and your compan 
ions to be cut to pieces, and then I should have been free." 

" Why didn't you do it?" asked the lieutenant. 

"Come, then!" cried Rochefort. " We swore friendship! 
Ah! Had any one but you been there I don't say " 

D'Artagnan bowed. 

But the impatient voice of Mazarin summoned Rochefort 
to the room where the minister awaited him. " Tell Mon 
sieur D'Artagnan to wait outside I don't require him yet," 
said the cardinal. 

Rochefort, rendered suspicious and cautious by these words, 
entered the apartment, where he found Mazarin sitting at 
the table, dressed in his ordinary garb, and as one of the pre 
lates of the church, his costume being similar to that of the 
abb6s in that day, excepting that his scarf and stockings were 
violet. 

As the door was closed, Rochefort cast a glance toward 
Mazarin, which was answered by one, equally furtive, from 
the minister. 

There was little change in the cardinal; still dressed with 
sedulous care, his hair well arranged and well curled, his per 
son perfumed he looked, owing to his extreme taste in 
dress, only half his age. But Rochefort, who had passed five 
years in prison, had become old in the lapse of years; the 
dark locks of this estimable friend of the defunct Cardinal de 
Richelieu were now white; the deep bronze of his complexion 
had been succeeded by a mortal paleness, which betokened 



22 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

debility. As he gazed at him, Mazarin shook his head 
slightly, as much as to say, "This is a man who does not ap 
pear to me fit for much." 

After a pause, which appeared an age to Rochefort, Maz 
arin, however, took from a bundle of papers a letter, and 
showing it to the count, he said: 

" I find here a letter in which you sue for liberty, Monsieur 
de Rochefort. You are in prison, then?" 

Rochefort trembled in every limb at this question. " But 
I thought," he said, "that your eminence knew that circum 
stance better than any one " 

"I? Oh no! There's a mass of prisoners in the Bastille 
who were sent there in the time of Monsieur de Richelieu 
I don't even know their names." 

" Yes, but in regard to myself, my lord, it cannot be so, for 
I was removed from the Chatelet to the Bastille owing to an 
order from your eminence." 

" You think you were." 

" I am certain of it." 

"Ah, yes! I think I remember it. Did you not once re 
fuse to undertake a journey to Brussels for the queen?" 

" Ah! ah!" exclaimed Rochefort. " There is the true rea 
son! Idiot as I am, though I have been trying to find it out 
for five years, I never found it out." 

" But I do not say that it was the cause of your imprison 
ment. I merely ask you, did you not refuse to go to Brussels for 
the queen, while you had consented to go there to do some 
service for the late cardinal?" 

" That is the very reason that I refused to go back again to 
Brussels. I was there at a fearful moment. I was sent there 
to intercept a correspondence between Chalais and the arch 
duke, and even then, when I was discovered, I was nearly 
torn to pieces. How could I then return to Brussels?" 

" Well, then, since the best motives are liable to miscon 
struction, the queen saw in your refusal nothing out a re 
fusal a distinct refusal; she had also much to complain of 
you during the lifetime of the cardinal yes, her majesty 
the queen " 

Rochefort smiled contemptuously. 

" Since I was a faithful servant, my lord, to Cardinal 
Richelieu during his life, it stands to reason that now, after 
his death, I should serve you well, in defiance of the whole 
world." 

" With regard to myself, Monsieur de Rochefort," replied 
Mazarin, " I am not like Monsieur de Richelieu, all-power- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 23 

fnl. I am but a minister, who wants no servants, being my 
self nothing but a servant of the queen's. Now, the queen is 
of a sensitive nature; hearing of your refusal to obey her, she 
looked upon it as a declaration of war; and as she considers 
you as a man of superior talent , and therefore dangerous, 
she desired me to make sure of you that is the reason of 
your being shut up in the Bastille but your release can be 
managed. You are one of those men who can comprehend 
certain matters: and have understood them, and can act with 
energy " 

"Such was Cardinal Richelieu's opinion, my lord." 

" The cardinal," interrupted Mazarin, " was a great poli 
tician, and there was his vast superiority over me. I am a 
straightforward, simple man; that's my great disadvantage. 
I am of a frankness of character quite French." 

Rochefort bit his lips in order not to smile. 

" Now to the point. I want friends. I want faithful serv 
ants. When I say I want, I mean the queen wants them. I 
do nothing without her commands; pray, understand that 
not like Monsieur de Richelieu, who went on just as he 
pleased so I shall never be a great man, as he was; but, to 
compensate for that, I shall be a good man, Monsieur de 
Rochefort, and I hope to prove it to you." 

Rochefort knew well the tones of that soft voice, in which 
there was sometimes a sort of gentle lisp, like the hissing of 
a viper. 

" I am disposed to believe your eminence," he replied; " but 
have the kindness not to forget that I have been five years in 
the Bastille, and that no way of viewing things is so false as 
through the grating of a prison." 

" Ah, Monsieur de Rochefort! have I not told you already 
that I had nothing to do with that. The queen cannot you 
make allowances for the pettishness of a queen and a princess? 
But that has passed away as suddenly as it came, and is for 
gotten." 

" I can easily suppose, sir, that her majesty has forgotten 
it amid the ftes and the courtiers of the Palais Royal, but I, 
who have passed those years in the Bastille " 

"Ah! mon Dieii! my dear Monsieur de Rochefort! do you 
absolutely think that the Palais Royal is the abode of gayety? 
No. We have had great annoyances there. As for me, I 
play my game fair and above board, as I always do. Let us 
come to some conclusion. Are you one of us, Monsieur de 
Rochefort?" 

" I am very desirous of being so, my lord; but I am totally 



24 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

in the dark about everything. In the Bastille one talks 
politics only with soldiers and gaolers, and you have not an 
idea, my lord, how little those sort of people really know of 
the state of affairs; I am of Monsieur de Bassompierre'e 
party. Is he still one of the seventeen peers of France?" 

" He is dead, sir 'tis a great loss. His devotion to the 
queen was great; and men of loyalty are scarce." 

"I think so, forsooth," said Rochefort; "and when yon 
find any of them you send them off to the Bastille. However, 
there are plenty of them in the world, but you don't look in 
the right direction for them, my lord." 

"Indeed! explain to me. Ah! my dear Monsieur de 
Rochefort, how much you must have learned during your 
intimacy with the late cardinal! Ah! he was a great man!" 

" Will your eminence be angry if I read you a lesson?" 

"I! never! you know you may say anything to me. I 
try to be beloved, and not to be feared." 

" Well, I myself, on the wall of my cell, scratched with a 
nail, a proverb, which says, 'Like master, like servant." 

"Pray, what does that mean?" 

" It means that Monsieur de Richelieu was able to find 
trusty servants dozens and dozens of them." 

"He! the point aimed at by every poignard! Richelieu, 
who passed his life in warding off blows which were forever 
aimed at him!" 

" But he did ward them off," said De Rochefort, "and the 
reason was, that though he had bitter enemies he possessed 
also true friends. I have known persons," he continued for 
he thought he might avail himself of the opportunity of 
speaking of D'Artagnau " who, by their sagacity and 
address, have deceived the penetration of Cardinal Richelieu; 
who, by their valor, have got the better of his guards and his 
spies; persons without money, without support, without 
credit, yet who have preserved to the crowned head its crown, 
and made the cardinal ask for pardon." 

" Ah," cried Mazarin, with his wonted grace, "could I 
but find such .men!" 

" My lord, there has stood for six years at your very door 
a man such as I describe, and during those six years he has 
been unappreciated and unemployed by you." 

" Who is it?" 

"It is Monsieur d'Artagnan, a Gascon, who has done all 
this, saved his queen, and made Monsieur de Richelieu con 
fess, that in point of talent, address, and political skill, he 
was to him only a tyro." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 25 

" Tell me how it all happened." 

"No, my lord, the secret is not mine; it is a secret which 
concerns the queen. In what he did, this man had three 
colleagues, three brave men, such men as you were wishing 
for just now." 

" And were these four men attached to each other, true in 
heart, really united?" 

" As if they had been one man, as if their four hearts had 
pulsated in one breast." 

" You pique my curiosity, dear Eochefort; pray tell me 
the whole story." 

" That is impossible; but I will tell you a true story, my 
lord." 

"Pray do so I delight in stories," cried the cardinal. 

"Listen then," returned Rochefort, as he spoke endeavor- 
ing to read, in that subtle countenance, the cardinal's motive. 
"Once upon a time there lived a queen a powerful monarch 
who reigned over one of the greatest kingdoms of the 
universe; and a minister; and this minister wished much to 
injure the queen, whom once he had loved too well. (Do 
not try, my lord, you cannot guess who it is; all this happened 
long before you came into the country where this queen 
reigned.) There came to the court an ambassador so brave, 
so magnificent, so elegant, that every woman lost her heart to 
him; and the queen had even the indiscretion to give him 
certain ornaments so rare that they could never be replaced 
by any like them. 

"As these ornaments belonged to the king, the minister 
persuaded his majesty to insist upon the queen's appearing in 
them as part of her jewels, at a ball which was soon to take 
place. There is no occasion to tell you, my lord, that the 
minister knew for a fact that these ornaments had been sent 
after the ambassador, who was far away, beyond seas. This 
illustrious queen had fallen low as the least of her subjects 
fallen from her high estate." 

"Indeed!" 

" Well, my lord, four men resolved to save her. These 
four men were not princes, neither were they dukes, neither 
were they men in power, they were not even rich men. They 
were four honest soldiers, each with a good heart, a good arm, 
and a sword at the service of those who wanted it. They set 
out. The minister knew of their departure, and had planted 
people on the road to prevent them ever reaching their destina 
tion. Three of them were overwhelmed and disabled by 
numerous assailants, one of them alone arrived at the port,hav- 
2 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



26 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

ing either killed or wounded those who wished to stop him. He 
crossed the sea, and brought back the set of ornaments to 
the great queen, who was able to wear them on her shoulder 
on the appointed day, and this very nearly ruined the minister. 
What think you of that trait, my lord?" 

"It is splendid," said Mazarin. 

" Well, I know ten such men/' 

"And was Monsieur D'Artagnan one of these four men?' r 
inquired the cardinal. 

" It was he who conducted the enterprise." 

"And who were the others?" 

" I leave it to Monsieur d'Artagnan to name them, my 
lord." 

" You suspect me, Monsieur de Rochefort; I want him, 
and yon, and all to aid me." 

"Begin by telling me why, my lord; for after five or six 
years of imprisonment, it is natural to feel some curiosity as 
to one's destination." 

" You, my dear Monsieur de Rochefort, shall have the 
post of confidence; you shall go to Vincennes, where Mon 
sieur de Beaufort is confined; vou will guard him well for 
me." 

" My lord," replied Rochefort, " to go out of the Bastille 
in order to go into Vincennes is only to change one's prison." 

" Say at once that you are on the side of Monsieur de Beau 
fort that will be the most sincere line of conduct," said 
Mazarin. 

" My lord, I have been so long shut up, that I am only of 
one party I am for fresh air. Employ me in any other way; 
employ me even actively but let it be on the high roads." 

" My dear Monsieur de Rochefort," Mazarin replied in a 
tone of raillery, "you think yourself still a young man your 
spirit is still juvenile, but your strength fails you. Believe 
me, you ought now to take rest. Here!" 

"You decide, then, nothing about me, my lord?" 

" On the contrary, I have come to a decision about you." 

Bernouiu came into the room. 

"Call an officer of justice," he said, "and stay close to 
me," he added in a low tone. 

The officer entered Mazarin wrote a few words, which he 
gave to this man then he bowed. 

" Adieu, Monsieur de Rochefort," he said. 

Rochefort bent low. 

" I see, my lord, that I am to be taken back to the Pastille." 

" You are sagacious." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 27 

" I shall return thither, my lord, but you are wrong not to 
employ me." 

"You? the friend of my greatest foes? don't suppose that 
you are the only person who can serve me, Monsieur de 
Rochefort. I shall find many as able men as you are." 

" I wish you may, my lord," replied De Rochefort. 

He was then reconducted by the little staircase, instead of 
passing through the antechamber where D'Artagnan was 
waiting. In the courtyard the carriage and four musketeers 
were ready, but he looked around in vain for his friend. 

"Ah!" he muttered to himself, "things are changed in 
deed;" yet he jumped into the carriage with the alacrity of a 
man of five-and-tweuty. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ANNE OF AUSTRIA AT THE AGE OF FORTY-SIX. 

WHEN left alone with Bernouin, Mazarin was, for some 
minutes, lost in thought. He had gained much information, 
but wot enough. 

"My lord, have you any commands?" asked Bernouin. 

"Yes, yes," replied Mazarin. "Light me; I am going to 
the queen." 

Bernouin took up a candlestick, and led the way. 

There was a secret communication between the cardinal's 
apartments and those of the queen; and through this corri 
dor* Mazariu passed whenever he wished to visit Anne of 
Austria. 

In the bedroom in which this passage ended Bernouin en 
countered Madame de Beauvais, like himself entrusted with 
the secret of these subterranean love affairs; and Madame de 
Beauvais undertook to prepare Anne of Austria, who was in 
her oratory with the young king, Louis XIV., to receive the 
cardinal. 

Anne, reclining in a large easy-chair, her head supported by 
her hand, her elbow resting on a table near her, was looking 
at her son, who was turning over the leaves of a book filled 
with pictures of battles. This celebrated woman fully under 
stood the art of being dull with dignity. It was her practice 
to pass hours either in her oratory, or in her room, without 
either reading or praying. 

When Madame de Beauvais appeared at the door, and an- 

*This secret passage is still to be seen in the Palais Royal. 



28 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

iiounced the cardinal, the child, who had been engrossed in 
the pages of Quintus Curtius, enlivened as they were by en 
gravings of Alexander's feats of arms, frowned, and looked at 
his mother 

" Why/' he said, "does he enter without asking first for an 
audience?" 

Anne colored slightly. 

" The prime minister," she said, "is obliged, in these un 
settled times, to inform the queen of all that is happening 
from time to time, without exciting the curiosity or remarks 
of the court." 

" But Richelieu never came in, in this manner," said the 
pertinacious boy. 

"How can you remember what Monsieur de Richelieu did? 
You were too young to know that." 

" I do not remember what he did; but I have inquired, and 
I have been told all about it." 

At this very moment Mazarin entered. The king rose im 
mediately, took his book, closed it, and went to lay it down 
on the table, near which he continued standing, in order that 
Mazarin might be obliged to stand also. 

Mazarin contemplated these proceedings with a thoughtful 
glance. They explained what had occurred that evening. 

He bowed respectfully to the king, who gave him a some 
what cavalier reception, but a look from his mother reproved 
him for the hatred which, from his infancy, Louis XIV. had 
entertained toward Mazarin, and he endeavored to receive 
with a smile the minister's homage. 

" It is time that the king should retire to rest," said the 
queen, speaking to Madame de Beauvais for Anne was sur 
prised at this early visit from Mazarin, who scarcely ever came 
into her apartments until every one had withdrawn for the 
night. 

The queen had several times already told her son that he 
ought to go to bed; and, several times, Louis had coaxingly 
insisted on staying where he was; but now he made no reply, 
but turned pale, and bit his lips with anger. 

In a few minutes Laporte came into the room. The child 
went directly to him without kissing his mother. 

" Well, Louis," said Anne, " why do you not kiss me?" 

" I thought you were angry with me, madame; you sent me 
away." 

" I do not send you away; but you have had the smallpox, 
and I am afraid that sitting up late may tire you." 

" You had no fears of my being tired when you ordered me 



TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 29 

to go to the palace to-day to pass the odious decrees, which 
have raised up murmurs among the people." 

" Sire!" interposed Laporte, in order to turn the subject 
" to whom does your majesty wish me to give the candle?" 

"To any one, Laporte," the child said; and then added, in 
a loud voice, " to any one but Mancini." 

Now Mancini was a nephew of Mazarin's, and was as much 
hated by Louis as the cardinal himself, although placed near 
his person by the minister. 

And the king went out of the room, without either em 
bracing his mother, or even bowing to the cardinal. 

" Good," said Mazarin. " I am glad to see that his majesty 
is brought up with a hatred of dissimulation." 

The queen, however, asked, with some impatience, what 
important business had brought the cardinal there that 
evening. 

Mazarin sank into a chair, with the deepest melancholy 
painted on his countenance. 

"It is likely," he replied, "that we shall soon be obliged 
to separate, unless you love me well enough to follow me into 
Italy." 

" Why," cried the queen; " how is that?" 

" Because, as they say in the opera of Thisbe ' The whole 
world conspires to break our bonds." 

" You jest, sir!" answered the queen, endeavoring to assume 
something of her former dignity. 

" Alas! I do not, madame," rejoined Mazarin. " Mark well 
what I say. The whole world conspires to break our bonds. 
Now as you are one of the wholp world, I mean to say that you 
also desert me." 

"Cardinal!" 

" Heavens! did I not see you the other day smile on the 
Duke of Orleans? or rather at what he said?" 

"And what was he saying?" 

" He said this, madame. * Mazarin is a stumbling-block. 
Send him away, and all will be well." 

" What do you wish me to do?'" " 

"Oh, madame you are the queen!" 

"Queen, forsooth! when I am at the mercy of every scrib 
bler in the Palais Royal, who covers waste paper with non 
sense, or of every country squire in the kingdom." 

" Nevertheless, you have still the power of banishing from 
your presence those whom you do not like!" 

"That is to say, whom you do not like," returned the 
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TWENTY YEARS AlTER. 31 

"Which you answer according to your own fancy," re 
plied Mazariu. 

"Tell mo your wishes, and I will comply with them." 

The queen spoke with some impatience. 

"Well then, madame, not a day passes in which I do not 
suffer affronts from your princes and your lordly servants: 
every one of them automata who do not perceive that I hold 
the spring which makes them move, nor do they see that be 
neath my quiet demeanor there is the scoff of an injured and 
irritated man, who has sworn to himself to master them one 
of these days. We have arrested Monsieur tie Beaufort, but 
he is the least dangerous among them. There is the Prince 
de Coud6 " 

" The hero of Rocroy! do you think of Ju'm f" 

"Yes, madame, often and often; butpazienza, as we say in 
Italy. Next, after Monsieur de Conde, conies the Duke of 
Orleans." 

" What are you saying? The first prince of the blood the 
king's uncle!" 

"No! not the first prince of the blood, not the king's 
uncle, but the base conspirator, the soul of every cabal, who 
pretends to lead the brave people who are weak enough to 
believe in the honor of a prince of the blood not the prince 
nearest to the throne, not the king's uncle, I repeat, 
but the murderer of Chalais, of Montmorency, and of 
Cinq-Mars, who is playing now the same game that 
he played long ago, and who fancies he shall gain an 
advantage; instead of having an opponent who frowns, 
ne has one before him, face to face, who smiles. But he is 
mistaken. I shall not leave so near the queen that source of 
discord with which the deceased cardinal so often caused the 
anger of the king to boil over." 

Anne blushed, and buried her head in her hands. 

" What am I to do?" she said, bowed down beneath the 
voice of her tyrant. 

"Endeavor to remember the names of those faithful serv 
ants who crossed the channel, in spite of Monsieur de Kiche- 
lieu tracking the roads along which they passed by their 
blood to bring back to your majesty certain jewels given 
by her to Buckingham." 

Anne arose, full of majeRty, and, as if touched by a spring, 
started up, and looking at the cardinal with the haughty dig 
nity which, in the days of her youth, had made her BO pow 
erful, "You insult me, sir," she said. 

"I wish," continued Mazarin, linishiug, as it were, thp 



32 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

speech which tfhis sudden movement of the queen had cut 
short; "I wish, in fact, that you should now do for your hus 
band what you formerly did for your lover." 

"Again, that accusation?" cried the queen; "I thought 
that calumny was stifled or extinct. You have spared me 
till now; but since you speak of it, once for all I tell you " 

" Madame, what I wish is, to know all," said Mazarin, as 
tounded by this returning courage. 

"I will tell you all," replied Anne. "Listen: there were, 
in truth, at that epoch, four devoted hearts, four loyal spirits, 
four faithful swords who saved more than my life my 
honor " 

"Ah! you confess it," exclaimed Mazarin. 

" Is it only the guilty whose jionor is at the sport of 
others, sir; and cannot women be dishonored by appear 
ances? However, I swear I was not guilty; I swear it by " 

The queen looked around her for some sacred object by 
which she could swear; and taking out of a cupboard, hid 
den in the tapestry, a small coffer of rosewood, set in silver, 
and laying it on the altar 

" I swear," she said, " by these sacred relics that Bucking 
ham was not my lover." 

" What relics are those by which you swear?" asked Maz 
arin, smiling. "I am incredulous." 

The queen untied from around her throat a small golden 
key which hung there, and presented it to the cardinal. 

" Open," she said, " sir, and look for yourself." 

Mazarin opened the coffer; a knife, covered with rust, and 
two letters, one of which was stained with blood, alone met 
his gaze. 

" What are these things?" he asked. 

" What are these things?" replied Anne, with queen-like- 
dignity, and extending toward the open coffer an arm, de 
spite the lapse of years, still beautiful. " These two letters 
are the only letters that I ever wrote to him. That knife is 
the knife with which Felton stabbed him. Read the letters, 
and see if I have lied, or spoken the truth." 

But Mazarin, notwithstanding this permission, instead of 
reading the letters, took the knife which the dying Bucking 
ham had snatched out of the wound, and sent by Laporte to 
the queen. The blade was red, for the blood had become 
rust, after a momentary examination, during which the queen 
became as white as the cloth which covered the altar on 
which she was leaning, he put it back into the coffer with 
an involuntary shudder. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 33 

"It is well, madame; I believe your oath." 

" No, uo, read," exclaimed the queen indignantly; "read, 
I command you, for I am resolved that everything shall be 
finished to-night, and never will I recur to this subject 
again. Do you think," she said, with a ghastly smile, "that 
I shall be inclined to reopen this coffer to answer any future 
accusations?" 

Mazarin, overcome by this determination, read the two let 
ters. In one the queen asked for the ornaments back again. 
This letter had been conveyed by D'Artagnan, and had 
arrived in time. The other was that which Laporte had 
placed in the hands of the Duke of Buckingham, warning 
him that he was about to be assassinated; this had arrived 
too late. 

" It is well, madame," said Mazarin; " nothing can be said 
to this testimony." 

" Sir," replied the queen, closing the coffer, and leaning 
her hand upon it, "if there is anything to be said, it is that 
I have always been ungrateful to the brave men who saved 
me that 1 have given nothing to that gallant officer, D'Ar 
tagnan, you were speaking of just now, but my hand to kiss, 
and this diamond." 

As she spoke she extended her beautiful hand to the car 
dinal, and showed him a superb diamond which sparkled on 
her finger. 

" It appears," she resumed, "that he sold it he sold it in 
order to save me another time to be able to send a mes 
senger to the duke to warn him of his danger he sold it to 
Monsieur Dessessarts, on whose finger I remarked it. I 
bought it from him, but it belongs to D'Artagnau. Give it 
back to him, sir; and since you have such a man in your serv 
ice, make him useful. 

" And now," added the queen, her voice broken by her 
emotion, " have you any other question to ask me?" 

" Nothing " the cardinal spoke in the most conciliatory 
manner " except to beg of you to forgive my unworthy sus 
picions. I love you so tenderly that I cannot help being jeal 
ous even of the past." 

A smile, which was indefinable, passed over the lips of the 
queen. 

"Since you have no further interrogations to make, leave 
me, I beseech you," she said. " I wish, after such a scene, 
to be alone." 

Mazarin bent low before her. 

"I shall retire, madame; do you permit me to return?" 



34 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

"Yes, to-morrow." 

The cardinal took the queen's hand, and pressed it, with au 
air of gallantry, to his lips. 

Scarcely hud he left her than the queen went into her son's 
room, and inquired from Laporte if the king was in bed. 
Laporte pointed to the child, who was asleep. 

Anne ascended the steps aside of the bed, and kissed softly 
the placid forehead of her son; then she retired as silently as 
she came, merely saying to Laporte: 

"Try, my dear Laporte, to make the king more courteous 
to Monsieur le Cardinal, to whom both he and I are under 
such great obligations." 



CHAPTER V. 

THE GA.6CON AND THE ITALIAN. 

MEANWHILE the cardinal returned to his own room; and 
after asking Bernoulli, who stood at the door, whether any 
thing had occurred during his absence, and being answered 
in the negative, he desired that he might be left alone. 

When he was alone, he opened the door of the corridor, and 
then that of the antechamber. There D'Artagnan was 
asleep upon a bench. 

The cardinal went up to him, and touched his shoulder. 
D'Artagnan started, awakened himself, and, as he awoke, 
stood up exactly like a soldier under arms. 

" Monsieur D'Artagnan," said the cardinal, sitting down 
on afauteuil, " you have always seemed to me to be a brave 
and an honorable man." 

"Possibly," thought D'Artagnan; "but he has taken a 
long time to let me know his thoughts;" nevertheless he bent 
down to the very ground in gratitude for Mazarin's com 
pliment. 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan," continued Mazarin, " you have 
performed sundry exploits in the last reign." 

" Your eminence is too good to remember that. It is true 
I fought with tolerable success." 

"I don't speak of your warlike exploits, monsieur," said 
Mazarin; "although they gained you much reputation, they 
were surpassed by others." 

D'Artagnan pretended astonishment. 

"Well, you do not reply?" resumed Mazarin. 

"I am waiting, my lord, till you tell me of what exploits 
you speak." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 35 

"I speak of certain adventures. I speak of the adventure 
referring to the queen of the ornaments, of the journey 
you made with three of your friends/' 

"Ha, ho-o!" thought the Gascon; "is this a snare, or not? 
Let me be on my guard." 

And he assumed a look of stupidity which Mendori or 
Bellerose, two of the first actors of the day, might have en 
vied him. 

" Bravo," cried Mazarin; "they told me that you were the 
man I wanted. Come, let us see what you will do for me!" 

"Everything that your eminence may please to command 
me," was the reply. 

" You will do for me what you have done for the queen?" 

" Certainly," D'Artagnan said to himself, "he wishes to 
make me speak out. He's not more cunning than De Rich 
elieu was! Devil take him!" Then he said aloud: 

" The queen, my lord! I don't comprehend." 

" You don't comprehend that I want you and your three 
friends to be of use to me?" 

" What friends, my lord?" 

" Your three friends the friends of former days." 

"Of former days, my lord! In formei days I had not 
only three friends, I had fifty at twenty, one calls every one 
one's friend." 

" Well, sir," returned Mazarin; "prudence is a fine thing, 
but to-day you might regret having been too prudent." 

" My lord, Pythagoras made his disciples keep silence for 
five years, that they might learn to hold their tongues." 

"But you have been silent for twenty years, sir. Speak, 
now, for the queen herself releases you from your promise." 

"The queen!" 

"Yes, the queen! And as a proof of what I say she com 
manded me to show you this diamond, which she thinks you 
know." 

And so saying, Mazarin extended his hand to the officer, 
who sighed as he recognized the ring which had been given 
to him by the queen on the night of the ball at the Hotel de 
Ville. 

"'Tis true. I remember well that diamond." 

" You see, then, that I speak to you in the queen's name. 
Answer me without acting as if you were on the stage your 
interests are concerned in your doing so. Where are your 
friends?" 

"I do not know, my lord. We have parted company this 
long time; all three have left the service." 



36 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Where can you find them, then?" 

" Wherever they are, that's my business." 

" Well, now what are your conditions if I employ you?" 

" Money, my lord; as much money as what you wish me to 
undertake will require." 

" The devil he does! Money! and a large sum!" said 
Mazarin. " Pray are you aware that the king has no money 
now in his treasury?" 

" Do then as I did, my lord. Sell the crown diamonds. 
Trust me, don't let us try to do things cheaply. Great 
undertakings are badly done with small means." 

" Well," returned Mazarin, " we will satisfy you." 

" Richelieu," thought D'Artagnan, would have given me 
five hundred pistoles in advance." 

" You will then be at my service?" asked Mazarin. 

" And what are we to do?" 

"Make your mind easy; when the time for action conies, 
you shall be in full possession of what I require from you; 
wait till that time arrives, and find out your friends." 

" My lord, possibly they are not in Paris. I must, perhaps, 
make a long journey to find them out. Traveling is dear, 
and I am only a poor lieutenant in the musketeers; besides, I 
have been in the service for twenty-two years, and have ac 
cumulated nothing but debts." 

Mazarin remained some moments in deep thought, as if he 
combated with himself; then, going to a large cupboard closed 
with a triple lock, he took from it a bag of silver, and weigh 
ing it twice in his hands before he gave it to D'Artagnan 

" Take this," he said, with a sigh, " 'tis for your journey." 

D'Artagnan bowed, and plunged the bag into the depth of 
an immense pocket. 

"Well, then, all is settled; you are to set off," said the 
cardinal. 

" Yes, my lord." 

"Apropos, what are the names of your friends?" 

"The Count de la Fere, formerly styled Athos; Monsieur 
du Valon, whom we used to call Porthos; the Chevalier 
d'Herblay now the Abbe d'Herblay whom we used to call 
Aramis " 

The cardinal smiled. 

" Younger sons," he said, " who enlisted in the musketeers 
nder feigned names in order not to lower their family names. 
Long rapiers, but light purses, you know." 

"If, God willing, these rapiers should be devoted to the 
lervice of your eminence," said D'Artagnan, " I shall venture 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 37 

to express a wish which is, that in its torn, the purse of 
your eminence may become light, and theirs heavy for with 
these three men, your eminence may rouse all Europe, if you 
like." 

" These Gascons," said the cardinal, laughing, ' ' almost beat 
the Italians in effrontery." 

" At all events," answered D'Artagnan, with a smile 
similar to the cardinal's, " they beat them when they draw 
their swords." 

He then withdrew, and as he passed into the courtyard he 
stopped near a lamp, and dived eagerly into the bag of 
money. 

" Crown pieces only, silver pieces ! I suspected it. Ah, 
Mazarin! Mazarin! thou hast no confidence in me! so much 
the worse for thee harm may come of it! " 

Meanwhile the cardinal was rubbing his hands in great 
satisfaction. 

"A hundred pistoles! a hundred pistoles! for a hundred 
pistoles I have discovered a secret for which Richelieu would 
have paid a thousand crowns: without reckoning the value of 
that diamond " he cast a complacent look at the ring, which 
he had kept, instead of restoring it to D'Artagnan " which 
is worth, at least, ten thousand francs." 

He returned to his room, and, after depositing the ring in 
a casket filled with brilliants of every sort for the cardinal 
was a connoisseur in precious stones he called to Bernoulli to 
undress him, regardless of the noises, or of the firing of guns 
which continued to resound through Paris, although it was 
now nearly midnight. 



CHAPTER VI. 
D'ARTAGNAN IN HIS FORTIETH YEAR. 

YEARS have elapsed, many events have happened, alas! 
since, in our romance of " The Three Guardsmen," we took 
leave of D'Artagnan, at No. 12 Rue des Fossoyeurs. D'Ar 
tagnan had not failed in his career, but circumstances had 
been adverse to him. So long as he was surrounded by his 
friends, he retained his youth and the poetry of his character. 
His was one of those tine, ingenuous natures which assimilate 
themselves easily to the dispositions of others. Athos 
imparted to him* his greatness of soul; Porthos, his enthu- 



38 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

siasin; Aramis, his elegance. Had D'Artagnan continued his 
intimacy with these three men, he would have become a 
superior character. Athos was the first to leave him, in 
order that he might retire to a small property which he had 
inherited near Blois. Porthos, the second, to marry an at 
torney's wife; and lastly, Aramis, the third, to take orders, 
and become an abbe. From that day D'Artagnan felt lonely 
and powerless, without courage to pursue a career in which 
he could only distinguish himself on condition that each of 
his three companions should endow him with one of the gifts 
which each had received from heaven. 

Notwithstanding his commission in the musketeers, D'Ar 
tagnan felt completely solitary. For a time the delightful 
remembrance of Madame Bonacieux left on his character a 
certain poetic tinge, perishable, and, like all other recollec 
tions in this world, these impressions were, by degrees, effaced. 
A garrison life is fatal even to the most aristocratic organiza 
tions; and, imperceptibly, D'Artagnan, always in the camp, 
always on horseback, always in garrison, became (I know not 
how in the present age one would express it) a complete 
trooper. His early refinement of character was not only not 
lost, but was even greater than ever; but it was now applied 
to the little instead of to the great things of life to the 
material condition of the soldier comprised under the heads 
of a good lodging, a good table, a good hostess. These im 
portant advantages D'Artagnan found to his own taste in the 
Kue Tiquetonne, at the sign of the Roe, where a pretty Flemish 
woman, named Madeleine, presided. 

In the evening, after his conversation with Mazarin, he re 
turned to his lodgings, absorbed in reflection. His mind was 
full of the fine diamond which he had once called his own, and 
which he had seen on the minister's finger that night. 

" Should that diamond ever fall into my hands again, "such 
was his reflection, "I should turn it at once into money; I 
should buy, with the proceeds, certain lands around my father's 
chateau, which is a pretty place well enough but with no 
land to it at all, except a garden about the size of the Cemetery 
<les Innocents; and I should wait, in all my glory, till some rich 
heiress, attracted by my good looks, chose to marry me. Then 
I should like to have three sons; I should make the first a 
nobleman, like Athos; the second a good soldier, like Porthos; 
the third an excellent abbe 1 , like Aramis. Faith! that would 
be a far better life than I lead now; but Monsieur Mazarin is 
a mean wretch, who won't dispossess himself of his diamond 
in my favor." 



TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 39 

On entering the Hue Tiquetoime he heard a tremendous 
noise, and found a dense crowd near the house. 

"Oh! oh!" said he, "is the hotel on fire?" On approach 
ing the hotel of the Roe, he found, however, that it was in 
front of the next house that the mob was collected. The 
people were shouting, and running about with torches. By 
the light of one of these torches, D'Artagnan perceived men 
in uniform. 

He asked what was going on. 

He was told that twenty citizens, headed by one man, had 
attacked a carriage, which was escorted by a troop of the car 
dinal's bodyguard; but, a reinforcement having come up, the 
assailants had been put to flight, and the leader had taken 
refuge in the hotel, next to his lodgings; the house was now 
being searched. 

In his youth, D'Artagnan had often headed the bourgeoisie 
against the military, but he was cured of all those hot-headed 
propensities; besides, he had the cardinal's hundred pistoles in 
his pocket: so he went into the hotel without saying a word; 
he found Madeleine alarmed for his safety, and anxious to tell 
him all the events of the evening, but he cut her short by or 
dering her to put his supper in his room, and to give him with 
it a bottle of good Burgundy. 

He took his key and his candle, and went upstairs to his 
bedroom. He had been contented, for the convenience of the 
house, to lodge on the fourth story; and truth obliges us even 
to confess that his chamber was just above the gutter and be 
low the roof. His first care on entering it was to lock up in 
an old bureau with a new lock his bag of money, and then as 
soon as supper was ready, he sent away the waiter who brought 
it up, and sat down to table. 

Not to reflect on what had passed, as one might fancy. 
No D'Artagnan considered that things are never well done 
when they are not reserved to their proper time. He was 
hungry; he supped, he went to bed. Neither was he one of 
those who think that the silence of the night brings good 
Counsel with it. In the night he slept, but in the morning, 
refreshed and calm, he was inspired with the clearest views of 
everything. It was long since he had had any reaaon for his 
morning's inspiration, but he had always slept all night long. 
At daybreak he awoke, and made a turn round his room. 

" In '43," he said, "just before the death of the late cardi 
nal, I received a letter from Athos. Where was I then? Let 
me see. Oh! at the siege of Besan^on! I was in the trenches. 
He told me let me think what was it? That he was living 



40 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

on a small estate but where? I was just reading the name 
of the place when the wind blew my letter away I suppose to 
the Spaniards; there's no use in thinking any more about 
Athos. Let me see with regard to Porthos, I received a 
letter from him, too. He invited me to a hunting party on 
his property in the month of September, 1646. Unluckily, 
as I was then in Beam, on account of my father's death, the 
letter followed me there. I had left Beam when it arrived, 
and I never received it until the month of April, 1647; and as 
the invitation was for September, 1646, I couldn't accept it. 
Let me look for this letter; it must be with my title-deeds." 

D'Artagnan opened an old casket, which stood in a corner 
of the room, and which ^as full of parchments, referring to 
an estate, during a period of two hundred years lost to his 
family. He uttered an exclamation of delight, for the large 
handwriting of Porthos was discernible, and beneath it some 
lines traced by his worthy spouse. 

D'Artagnan eagerly searched for the date of this letter; it 
was dated from the Chateau du Vallon. 

Porthos had forgotten that any other address was necessary; 
in his pride he fancied that every one must know the Chateau 
du Vallon. 

" Devil take the vain fellow/' said D'Artagnan. " How 
ever, I had better find him out first, since he can't want 
money. Athos must have become an idiot by this time from 
drinking. Aramis must be absorbed in his devotional ex 
ercises." 

He cast his eyes again on the letter. There was a postscript. 

"I write by the same courier to our worthy friend Aramis 
in his convent." 

" In his convent! what convent? There are about two 
hundred in Paris, and three thousand in France; and then, 
perhaps, on entering the convent he has changed his name. 
Ah! if I were but learned in theology, I should recollect what 
it was he used to dispute about with the curate of Montdi- 
dier and the superior of the Jesuits, when we were at 
Crevecour; I should know what doctrine he leans to, and 
I should glean from that what saint he has adopted as his 
patron. 

" Well, suppose I go back to the cardinal and ask him for 
a passport into all the convents one can find; even into the 
nunneries? It would be a curious idea, and maybe I should 
find my friend under the name of Achilles. But, no! I 
should lose myself in the cardinal's opinion. Great people 
only thank you for doing for them what's impossible; 



TWENTY YEAE8 AFTER. 41 

what's possible, they say, they can do themselves, and they 
are right." 

So he was perfectly ignorant either where to find Aramis 
any more than Porthos, and the affair was becoming a mat 
ter of great perplexity, when he fancied he heard a pane of 
glass break in his room window. He thought directly of his 
bag, and rushed from the inner room where he was sleeping. 
He was not mistaken; as he entered his bedroom, a man was 
getting in by the window. 

" Ah! you scoundrel!" cried D'Artagnan, taking the man 
for a thief, and seizing his sword. 

" Sir," cried the man. " In the name of heaven put your 
sword back into the sheath, and don't kill me unheard. I'm 
no thief, but an honest citizen, well off in the world, with a 
house of my own. My name is ah! but surely you are 
Monsieur D'Artagnan?" 

"And thou Planchet!" cried the lieutenant. 

" At your service, sir," said Planchet, overwhelmed with 
joy, " and I'm still capable of serving you." 

" Perhaps so," replied D'Artagnan. " But why the devil 
dost thou run about the tops of houses at seven o'clock of the 
morning in the month of January?" 

" Sir," said Planchet, ' 'you must know; but, perhaps, yon 
ought not to know " 

"Tell us what," returned D'Artagnan, "but first put a 
napkin against the window and draw the curtains." 

"Sir," said the prudent Planchet, " in particular, are you 
on good terms with Monsieur de Eochefort?" 

"Perfectly; one of my dearest friends." 

"Ah! so much the better!" 

" But what has De Kochefort to do with this manner you 
have of invading my room?" 

"Ah, sir! I must tell you that Monsieur de Rochefort 
>t 

Planchet hesitated. 

"Egad, I know where he is," said D'Artagnan. " He's in 
the Bastille!" 

" That is to say, he was there," replied Planchet. " But 
in returning thither last night, when fortunately you did not 
accompany him, as his carriage was crossing the Rue de la 
Ferronnerie, his guards insulted the people, who began to 
abuse them. The prisoner thought this a good opportunity 
for escape; he called out his name, and cried for help. I was 
there. I heard the name of Rochefort. I remembered him 
well. I said in a loud voice that he was a prisoner, a friend 



42 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

of the Due de Beaufort, who called for help. The people 
were infuriated; they stopped the horses, and out the escort 
to pieces, while I opened the doors of the carriage, and Mon 
sieur de Rochefort jumped out and was lost among the crowd. 
At this moment a patrol passed by. I was obliged to sound 
a retreat toward the Rue Tiquetonne; I was pursued, and 
took refuge in a house next to this, where I have been con 
cealed till this morning on the top of the house, between two 
mattresses. I ventured to run along the gutters, and " 

"Well," interrupted D'Artagnan, "I am delighted that 
De Rochefort is free; but as for thee, if thow shouldst fall into 
the hands of the king's servants, they will hang thee with 
out mercy. Nevertheless, I promise thee thou shalt be 
hidden here, though I risk by concealing thee neither more 
nor less than my lieutenancy, if it was found out that I gave 
a rebel an asylum." 

" Ah! sir, you know well I would risk my life for you." 

" Thou mayest add that thou hast risked it, Planchet. I 
have not forgotten all I owe thee. Sit down there, and eat 
in security. I see thee cast expressive glances at the remains 
of my supper." 

" Yes, sir; for all I've had since yesterday was a slice of 
bread and butter, with preserve on it. Although I don't 
despise sweet things in proper time and place, yet I found 
that supper rather light." 

"Poor fellow!" said D'Artagnan. "Well, come; set to." 

"Ah, sir! you are going to save my life a second time," 
cried Planchet. 

And he seated himself at the table, and ate as he did in 
the merry days of the Rue des Fossoyeurs, while D'Artagnan 
walked to and fro, and thought how he could make use of 
Planchet under present circumstances. While he turned this 
over in his mind, Planchet did his best to make up for lost 
time at table. 

At last he uttered a cry of satisfaction, and paused, as if he 
had partially appeased his hunger. 

" Come," said D'Artaguan, who thought that it was now a 
convenient time to begin his interrogations, "dost thou 
know where Athos is?" 

* No, sir," replied Planchet. 

The devil thou dost not! Dost know where Porthos is?" 
'No not at all." 
And Aram is?" 
Not in the least." 

"The devil! the devil! the devil!" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 43 

" But, sir/' said Planchet, with a look of surprise, " I 
know where Bazin is." 

" Where is he?" 

"At N6tre Dame." 

" What has he to do at N6tre Dame?" 

"He is bedell." 

"Bazin bedell at N6tre Dame! He must know where his 
master is!" 

" Without doubt he must." 

D'Artagnan thought for a moment, then took his sword, 
and put on his cloak ready to go out. 

" Sir," said Planchet, in a mournful tone, " do you 
abandon me thus to my fate! Think, if I am found out 
here, the people of the house, who have not seen me enter it, 
must take me for a thief." 

" True," said D'Artagnan. "Let's see. Canst thou speak 
any patois?" 

" I can do something better than that, sir; I can speak 
Flemish." 

" Where the devil didst thou learn it?" 

" In Artois, where I fought for two years. Listen, sir. 
Goodeu morgen, mynheer, ith ben begeeray le weeten the ge 
Bond heets omstand." 

"Which means?" 

" Good-day, sir! I am anxious to know the state of your 
health." 

" He calls that knowing a language! but, never mind, that 
will do capitally." 

D'Artagnan opened the door, and called out to a waiter to 
desire Madeleine to come upstaii-s. 

When the landlady made her appearance, she expressed 
much astonishment at seeing Planchet. 

"My dear landlady," said D'Artagnan, "I beg to intro 
duce to you your brother, who is arrived from Flanders, and 
whom I am going to take into my service." 

" My brother?" 

" Wish your sister good-morning, Master Peter." 

" Wilkom, suster," said Planchet. 

" Goeden day, broder," replied the astonished landlady. 

"This is the case," said D'Artaguan: "this is your 
brother, Madeleine; you don't know him, perhaps, but I know 
him; he has arrived from Amsterdam. You must dress him 
up during my absence. When I return, which will be in 
about an hour, you must offer him to me as a servant, and, 
upon your recommendation, though he doesn't speak a word 
of French, I take him into my service. You understand?" 



44 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" That is to say, I guess your wishes; and that is all that's 
necessary," said Madeleine. 

" You are a precious creature, my pretty hostess, and I'm 
obliged to you ." 

The next moment D'Artagnan was on his way to N6tre 
Dame. 



CHAPTER VII. 

TOUCHES UPON THE DIFFERENT EFFECTS WHICH HALF A PIS 
TOLE MAY PRODUCE UPON A BEDELL AND A CHORISTER. 

D'ARTAGNAN, as he passed the Pont Neuf, congratulated 
himself upon having found Planchet again; for at that time 
an intelligent servant was essential to him; nor was he sorry 
that through Planchet, and the situation which he held in the 
Rue des Lombards, a connection with the bourgeoisie might be 
commenced, at that critical pejiod when that class were pre 
paring to make war with the court party. It was like having 
a spy in the enemy's camp. In this frame of mind, grateful 
for the accidental meeting with Planchet, pleased with him 
self, D'Artugnan reached N6tre Dame. He ran up the steps, 
entered the church, and addressing a verger who was sweeping 
the chapel, asked him if he knew Monsieur Bazin. 

" Monsieur Bazin, the bedell," said the verger. " Yes; 
there he is, attending mass, in the chapel of the Virgin." 

D'Artagnan nearly jumped for joy he had despaired of 
finding Bazin; but now, he thought, since he held one of the 
threads, he should be pretty sure to reach the other end of 
the clue. 

He knelt down just opposite to the chapel, in order not to 
lose sight of his man; and as he had almost forgotten his 
prayers, and had omitted to take a book with him, he made 
use of his time in gazing at Bazin. 

Bazin wore his dress, it may be observed, with equal dignity 
and saintly propriety. It was not difficult to understand that 
he had gained the summit of his ambition, and that the silver- 
mounted wand which he brandished was, in his eyes, as honor 
able a distinction as the marshal's baton, which Cond6 threw, 
or did not throw, into the enemy's line of battle at Fribourg. 
His person had undergone a change, analogous to the change 
in his drees; his figure was rounded, and, as it were, canonized. 
The striking points of his face were effaced; he had still a 
nose; but his cheeks, fattened out, each took off a portion of 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 45 

it into themselves; his chin was joined to his throat; his eyes 
were swelled up with the puffiness of his cheeks; his hair, cut 
straight in holy guise, covered his forehead as far as his eye 
brows. 

The officiating priest was just finishing the mass, while 
D'Artagnan was looking at Bazin; he pronounced the words 
of the holy sacrament, and retired, giving the benediction, 
which was received by the kneeling communicants, to the 
astonishment of D'Artaguau,who recognized in the priest the 
coadjutor* himself, the famous Jean Frangois Goneli, who at 
that time, having a presentiment of the part he was to play, 
was beginning to court popularity by almsgiving. It was to 
this end that he performed from time to time some of those 
early masses which the common people generally alone 
attended. 

D'Artagnan knelt as well as the rest, received his share of 
the benediction, and made the sign of the cross; but when 
Bazin passed in his turn, with his eyes raised to heaven, and 
walking, in all humility, the very last, D'Artaguan pulled him 
by the hem of his robe. 

Bazin looked down and started as if he had been a 
serpent. . 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan!" he cried; " Vade retra, Satanas! " 

"So, my dear Bazin," said the officer, laughing, "this is 
the way you receive an old friend." 

" Sir," replied Bazin, "the true friends of a Christian are 
those who aid him in working out his salvation; not those 
who hinder him in so doing." 

"I don't understand you, Bazin; nor can I see how I can 
be a stumbling-block in the way of your salvation," said 
D'Artaguan. 

" You forget, sir, that you very nearly ruined forever that 
of my master; and that it was owing to you that he was very 
nearly being damned eternally for remaining a musketeer, 
while his true vocation was for the church." 

" My dear Bazin, you ought to perceive," said D'Artagnau, 
"from the place in which you find me, that I am much 
changed in everything. Age produces good sense, and, as I 
doubt not but that your master is on the road to salvation, 
I want you to tell me where he is, that he may help me to 
mine." 

"Bather say to take him back with you into the world. 
Fortunately, I don't know where he is." 

* A sacerdotal office. 



46 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" How ! " cried D'Artagnan ; " you don't know where 
Aramis is?" 

"Formerly/' replied Bazin, "Aramis was his name of 
perdition. By Aramis is meant Simara, which is the name 
of a demon. Happily for him, he has ceased to bear that 
name." 

D'Artagnan saw clearly that he should get nothing out of 
this man, who was evidently telling a falsehood in his pre 
tended ignorance of the abode of Aramis, but whose false 
hoods were bold and decided. 

" Well, Bazin," said D'Artagnan, "since you do not know 
where your master lives, let us speak of it no more; let us 
part good friends. Accept this half-pistole to drink to my 
health." 

"I do not drink" Bazin pushed away with dignity the 
officer's hand " 'tis good only for the laity." 

"Incorruptible!" murmured D'Artagnan; "I am unlucky;" 
and while he was lost in thought, Bazin retreated toward the 
sacristy, where he was only, as he thought, secure by shutting 
the door and closing himself in. 

D'Artagnan was still in deep thought, when some one 
touched him on the shoulder. He turned, and uttered an 
exclamation of surprise. 

" You here, Rochefort?" he said in a low voice. 

" Hush!" returned Rochefort. "Do you know that I am at 
liberty?" 

"I knew it from the fountain-head from Planchet. And 
what brought you here?" 

" I came to thank God for my happy deliverance/' said 
Rochefort. 

" And nothing more? I suppose that is not all." 

" To take my orders from the coadjutor, and to see if we 
cannot plague Mazarin a little." 

" A bad plan; you'll be shut up again in the Bastille." 

" Oh, as to that, I shall take care, I assure you. The air, 
the fresh free air, is so good; besides" and Rochefort drew a 
deep breath as he spoke " I am going into the country to 
make a tour." 

"Stop," cried D'Artagnan; "I, too, am going." 

"And if I may, without impertinence, ask where are you 
going?" 

" To seek my friends. To find out Athos, Porthos, and 
Aramis." 

" And when do you set out?" 

" I am now on my road." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 4? 

" Good luck to you." 

"And to you a good journey." 

"Perhaps we shall meet on our road. Adieu! till we 
meet again! Apropos, should Mazarin speak to you about 
me, tell him that I have requested you to acquaint him that 
in a short time he will see whether I am, as he says, too old 
for action." 

And Rochefort went away with one of those diabolical 
smiles which used formerly to make D'Artagnan shudder, but 
D'Artagnan could now see it without anguish, and smiling in 
his turn, with an expression of melancholy, which the recol 
lections called up by that smile, could, perhaps, alone give 
to his countenance, he said: 

"Go, demon, do what thou wilt! it matters little to me. 
There is not a second Constance in the world." 

On his return to the cathedral, D'Artagnan saw Baziu, who 
was conversing with the sacristan. Baziu was making with 
his spare, little, short arms, ridiculous gestures. D'Artagnan 
perceived that he was enforcing prudence with respect to 
himself. 

D'Artagnan slipped out of the cathedral, and placed 
himself in ambuscade at the corner of the Rue des Canettes; 
it was impossible that Bazin could go out of the cathedral 
without his seeing him. 

In five minutes Bazin made his appearance, looking in 
every direction to see if he were observed, but he saw no one. 
Tranquilized by appearances, he ventured to walk on through 
the Rue Ndtre Dame. Then D'Artagnan rushed out of his 
hiding-place, and arrived in time to see Bazin turn down the 
Rue de la Juiverie, and enter, in the Rue de la Calandre, a 
respectable-looking house; and this D'Artagnan felt no doubt 
was the habitation of the worthy bedell. Afraid of making 
any inquiries at this house, D'Artagnan entered a small 
tavern at the corner of the street, and asked for a cup of 
hypocras. This beverage required a good half-hour to pre 
pare it, and D'Artnguan had time, therefore, to watch Bazin 
unsuspected. 

He perceived in the tavern a pert boy between twelve and 
fifteen years of age, whom he fancied he had seen not twenty 
minutes before, under the guise of a chorister. He questioned 
him; and as the boy had no interest in deceiving, D Artagnan 
learned that he exercised from six o'clock in the morning 
until nine, the office of chorister; and from nine o'clock till 
midnight that of a waiter in the tavern. 

While he was talking to this lad, a horse was brought to the 



48 TWENTY YEARS AFTKB. 

door of Bazin's house. It was saddled and bridled. Almost 
immediately Bazin came downstairs. 

"Look!" said the boy, " there's our bedell, who is going a 
journey." 

"And where is he going?" asked D'Artagnan. 

"Forsooth, I don't know." 

" Half a pistole if you can find out," said D'Artagnan. 

" For me?" cried the child, his eyes sparkling with joy, 
" if I can find out where Bazin is going? 'Tis not difficult. 
You are not joking are you?" 

" No, on the honor of an officer; there is the half pistole;" 
and he showed him the seductive coin, but did not give it 
him. 

" I shall ask him." 

"Just the very way not to know. Wait till he is set out, 
and then, marry, come up ask, and find out. The half 
pistole is ready; and he put it back again into his pocket. 

"I understand," said the child, with that jeering smile 
which marks especially the " gamin de Paris." " Well, we 
must wait." 

They had not long to wait. Five minutes afterward Bazin 
set off on a full trot, urging on his horse by the blows of a 
paraphine, which he was in the habit of using instead of a 
rid ing- whip. 

Scarcely had he turned the corner of the Rue de la Juiverie, 
than the boy rushed after him like a bloodhound on full 
scent. 

Before five minutes had elapsed the child returned. 

" Well!" said D'Artagnan. 

" Well!" answered the boy; "the thing is done." 

" Where is he gone?" 

"The half pistole is for me?" 

"Doubtless; answer me." 

" I want to see it. Give it me, that I may see that it i& 
not false." 

"There it is." 

The child put the piece of money into his pocket. 

" And now, where is he gone?" inquired D'Artagnan. 

" He is gone to Noisy." 

"How dost thou know?" 

" Ah, faith! there wasno great cunning necessary. I knew 
the horse which he rode; it belonged to the butcher, who lets 
it out now and then to M. Bazin. Now, I thought as much 
that the butcher would not let his horse out like that without 
knowing where it went to. And he answered, ' that Monsieur 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 49 

Bazin went to Noisy. 'Tie his custom. He goes two or three 
times a- week." 

"Dost thou know Noisy well?" 

" I think so, truly; my nurse lives there." 

" Is there a convent at Noisy?" 

" Isn't there a grand one a convent of Jesuits." 

"What's thy name?" 

"Friquet."' 

D'Artagnan wrote down the child's name in his tablets. 

"Please, sir," said the boy, " do you think I can get any 
more half- pistoles any way?" 

" Perhaps," replied D'Artagnan. 

And, having got out all he wanted, he paid for the hypo- 
eras, which he did not drink, and went quickly back to the 
Rue Tiquetonne. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

D'ARTAGNAN, ON GOING TO A DISTANCE TO FIND OUT 
ARAMIS, DISCOVERS THAT HIS FRIEND WAS RIDING BEHIND 
PLANCHET. 

THE plan adopted by D'Artagnan was soon perfected. 
He resolved not to reach Noisy in the day, for fear of being 
recognized: he had therefore plenty of time before him, for 
Noisy is only three or four leagues from Paris, on the road to 
Meaux. 

He began his day by breakfasting very substantially a 
bad beginning when one wants to employ the head, but an 
excellent precaution when one wants to work the body; 
and about two o'clock he had his two horses saddled, and 
followed by Planchet, he quitted Paris by the Bar ri 3 re de la 
Villette. 

At about a league and a half from the city, D'Artagnan, 
finding that in his impatience he had set out too soon, stop 
ped to give the horses breathing time. The inn was full of 
disreputable-looking people, who seemed as if they were on 
the point of commencing some nightly expedition. A man, 
wrapped in a cloak, appeared at the door; but seeing a stranger, 
he beckoned to his companions, and two men who were 
drinking in the inn went out to speak to him. 

D'Artagnan, on his side, went up to the landlady praised 
her wine which was a horrible production from the country 
of Montreuil and heard from her that there were only two 
3 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



50 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

houses of importance in the village; one of these belonged to 
the Archbishop of Paris, and was at that time the abode of 
his niece, the Duchess of Longueville; the other was a con 
vent of Jesuits, and was the property a by no means unusual 
circumstance of these worthy fathers. 

At four o'clock D'Artagnan recommenced his journey. He 
proceeded slowly, and in a deep reverie. Planchet was also 
lost in thought, but the subject of their reflections was not 
the same. 

One word which their landlady had pronounced had given 
a particular turn to D'Artagnan's deliberations this was the 
name of Madame de Longueville. 

That name was, indeed, one to inspire imagination, and to 
produce thought. Madame de Longueville was one of the 
highest ladies in the realm; she was also one of the greatest 
beauties at the court. She had formerly been suspected of an 
intimacy of too tender a nature with Coligny who, for her 
sake, had been killed in a duel, in the Place Royale, by the 
Due de Guise. She was now connected by a bond of a political 
nature with the Prince de Marsillac, the eldest son of the old 
Due de Rochefoucauld, whom she was trying to inspire with 
an enmity toward the Due de Conde, her brother-in-law, 
whom she now hated mortally. 

D'Artagnan thought of all these matters. He remem 
bered how, at the Louvre, he had often seen, as she passed by 
him in the full radiance of her dazzling charms, the beautiful 
Madame de Longueville. He thought of Aramis, who, with 
out possessing any greater advantages than he had, had 
formerly been the lover of Madame de Chevreuse, who had 
been in another court what Madame de Longueville was in 
that day; and he wondered how it was that there should oe 
in the world people who succeed in every wish some in 
ambition, others in love while others, either from chance or 
from ill-luck, or from some natural defect or impediment, 
remain only halfway on the road toward the goal of their 
hopes and expectations. 

He was confessing to himself that he belonged to the 
latter class of persons, when Planchet approached, and said: 

"I will lay a wager, your honor, that you and I are think 
ing of the same thing." 

"I doubt it, Planchet," replied D'Artagnan "but what 
are you thinking of?" 

"I am thinking, sir, of those desperate-looking men who 
were drinking in the inn where we rested." 

"Always cautious, Plauchet." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 51 

<"Tis instinct, your honor." 

" Well, what does your instinct tell yon now?" 

" Sir, my instinct told me that those people were assembled 
there for some bad purpose; and I was reflecting on what my 
instinct had told me, in the darkest corner of the stable, when 
a man, wrapped in a cloak, and followed by two other men, 
came in." 

"Ah!" 

" One of these two men said, ' He must certainly be at 
Noisy, or be coming there this evening, for Fve seen his 
servant/ 

" * Art thou sure?' said the man in the cloak. 

" ' Yes, my prince/ ' 

"My prince!" interrupted D'Artagnan. 

"Yes, 'my prince' but listen. 'If he is here* this is 
what the other man said ' let's see decidedly what to do 
with him/ 

" ' What to do with him?' answered the prince. 

" ' Yes, he's not a man to allow himself to be taken anyhow 
he'll defend himself/ 

" ' Well we must try to take him alive. Have you cords 
to bind him with, and a gag to stoo his mouth?' 

" ' We have/ 

" ' Remember that he will most likely be disguised as a 
horseman/ 

" ' Yes, yes, my lord don't be uneasy/ 

" ' Besides, I shall be there/ 

" 'You will assure us that justice ' 

" 'Yes, yes I answer for all that/ the prince said. 

" ' Well, then, we'll do our best/ Having said that, they 
went out of the stable." 

" Well what matters all that to us?" said D'Artaguan; 
" this is one of those attempts that happen every day." 

" Are you sure that we are not its objects?" 

We why?" 

" Just remember what they said;" and Planchet recapitu 
lated what he had just stated. 

" Alas! my dear Planchet," said D'Artagnan, sighing, 
" we are unfortunately no longer in those times in which 
princes would care to assassinate me. Those were good old 
days: never fear these people owe us no grudge." 

"Is your honor sure?" 

" I can answer for it they do not." 

"Well we won't speak of it any more, then;" and 
Planchet took his place in D'Artagnan's suite with that sub- 



52 TWENTY YEARS AFTKR. 

lime confidence which he had always hud in his master, and 
which fifteen years of separation had not destroyed. 

They had traveled onward about half a mile, when Plan- 
chet came close up to D'Artagnan. 

"Stop, sir; look yonder," he whispered; "don't yon see, in 
the darkness, something pass by, like shadows? I fancy I 
hear horses' feet." 

"Impossible!" returned D'Artagnan. "The ground is 
soaked in rain; yet I fancy, as thou sayest, that I see some 
thing." 

At this moment the neighing of a horse struck upon his ear 
coming through darkness and space. 

" There are men somewhere about; but that's ot no con 
sequence to us," said D'Artagnan; "let us ride onward." 

At about half-past eight o'clock they reached the first 
houses in Noisy; every one was in bed, and not a light was to 
bo seen in the village. The obscurity was broken only now 
and then by the dark lines of the roofs of houses. Here and 
there a dog barked behind a door, or an affrighted cat fled 
precipitately from the midst of the pavement, to take refuge 
behind a heap of faggots, from which retreat her eyes shone 
like carbuncles. These were the only living creatures that 
seemed to inhabit the village. 

Toward the middle of the town, commanding the principal 
open space, rose a dark muss, separated from the rest of the 
world by two lanes, and overshadowed in the front by enor 
mous lime-trees. D'Artagnan looked attentively at the 
building. 

" This," he said to Planchet, " must be the archbishop's 
chateau, the ubode of the fair Madame de Longueville; but 
the convent, where is that?" 

"The convent, your honor, is at the end of the village; I 
know it well." 

"Well, then, Planchet, gallop up to it, while I tighten my 
horse's girth, and come back and tell me if there is a light in 
any of the Jesuits' windows." 

In about five minutes Plunchet returned. 

" Sir," he said, " there is one window of the convent lighted 
up." 

"Hem! If I were a ' Frondeur,' " said D'Artagnan, "I 
should knock here, and should be sure of a good supper. If 
I were a monk, I should knock yonder, and should have a 
good supper there, too; whereas, 'tis very possible that, be 
tween the castle and the convent, we shall sleep on hard beds, 
dying with hunger and thirst." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 53 

" Yes," added Planchet, " like the famous ass of Buridan. 
Shall I knock?" 

" Hush!" replied D'Artagnan; " the light in the window is 
extinguished." 

" Do you hear nothing?" whispered Planchet. 

" What is that noise?" 

There came a sound like a whirlwind, and at the same time 
two troops of horsemen, each composed of ten men, sallied 
forth from each of the lanes which encompassed the house, 
and surrounded D'Artagnan and Planchet. 

"Heyday!" cried D'Artagnan, drawing his sword, and tak 
ing refuge behind his horse; "are you not mistaken? is it us 
you wish to attack us?" 

"Here he is! we have him now, "said the horsemen, rush 
ing on D'Artagnan with naked swords. 

" Don't let him escape," said a loud voice. 

"No, my lord; be assured, we shall not." 

D'Artaguan thought it was now time for him to join in the 
conversation. 

"Halloo, gentlemen!" he called out in his Gascon accent, 
" what do you want what do you demand?" 

" Thou wilt soon know," shouted a chorus of horsemen. 

"Stop, stop!" cried he whom they had addressed as "my 
lord;" " 'tis not his voice." 

"Ah! just so, gentlemen! pray do people get into passions 
at random at Noisy? Take care, for I warn you that the 
first man that comes within the length of my sword and my 
sword is long I rip him up." 

The chieftain of the party drew near. 

" What are you doing here?" he asked, in a lofty tone, and 
like one accustomed to command. 

"And you what are you doing here?" replied D'Ar 
tagnan. 

"Be civil, or I shall beat you; for, although one may not 
choose to proclaim one's self, one insists on respect suitable to 
one's rank." 

" You don't choose to discover yourself, because you are 
the leader of an ambuscade," returned D'Artagnan; "but 
with regard to myself, who am traveling quietly with my own 
servant, I have not the same reasons as you have to conceal 
my name." 

"Enough! enough! what is your name?" 

" I shall tell you my name in order that you may know 
where to find me, my lord, or my prince, as it may suit you 
best to be called," said our Gascon, who did not choose to 



54 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

seem to yield to a threat. " Do you know Monsieur D'Ar- 
tagnan?" 

" Lieutenant in the king's regiment of musketeers?" said 
the voice; *'you are Monsieur D'Artagnan?" 

" I am." 

"Then you are come here to defend him?" 

"Him? whom? Him?" 

" Him whom we are seeking." 

"It seems," said D'Artagnan, " that while I thought I was 
coming to Noisy, I have entered, without suspecting it, iuto 
the kingdom of mysteries." 

" Come," replied the same lofty tone, " answer. Are you 
waiting for him underneath these windows? Did you come 
to Noisy to defend him?" 

"I am waiting for no one," replied D'Artagnan, who was 
beginning to be angry. 

" Well, well," rejoined the leader, "there's no doubt 'tis a 
Gascon who is speaking, and therefore not the man we are 
looking for. We shall meet again, Muster D'Artagnan; let 
us go onward, gentlemen." 

And the troop, angry and complaining, disappeared in the 
darkness, and took the road to Paris. D'Artagnan and 
Planchet remained for some moments still on the defensive; 
then, as the noise of the horsemen became more and more 
distant, they sheathed their swords. 

Thou seest, simpleton," said D'Artagnan to his servant, 
" that they wished no harm to us." 

"But to whom, then?" 

" I'faith! I don't know, nor care. What I care for now is 
to make my way into the Jesuits' convent; so, to horse, and 
let us knock at their door. Happen what will devil take 
them they won't eat us." 

And he mounted his horse. Planchet had just done the 
same, when an unexpected weight fell upon the back of his 
horse, which sank down. 

" Hey, your honor!" cried Planchet, " I've a man behind 
me." 

D'Artagnan turned round, and saw plainly, two human 
forms upon Planchet's horse. 

" 'Tis then the devil that pursues us!" he qried, drawing 
his sword, and preparing to attack the new foe. 

" No, no, dear D'Artagnan," said the figure, " 'tis not the 
devil, 'tis Aramis; gallop fast, Planchet, and when yoa come 
to the end of the village, go to the left." 

And Planchet, with Aramis behind him, set off full gallop, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 55 

followed by D'Artagnan, who began to think he was dream 
ing some incoherent and fantastic dream. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE ABBE T>'HERBLAY. 

AT THE extremity of the village Planchet turned to the 
left, in obedience to the orders of Aramis, and stopped un 
derneath the window which had a light in it. Aramis 
alighted, and knocked three times with his hands. Imme 
diately the window was opened, and a ladder of rope was let 
down from it. 

"My friend," said Aramis, " if you like to ascend I shall 
be delighted to receive you." 

" Pass on before me, I beg of you." 

" As the late cardinal used to say to the late king only to 
show you the way, sire." And Aramis ascended the ladder 
quickly, and reached the window in an instant. 

D'Artagnan followed, but less nimbly, showing plainly 
that this mode of ascent was not one to which he was 
accustomed. 

"Sir," said Planchet, when he saw D'Artagnan on the 
summit of the ladder, " this way is easy for Monsieur Aramis, 
and even for you; in case of necessity I might also climb up, 
but my two horses cannot mount the ladder." 

" Take them to yonder shed, my friend," said Aramis, 
pointing to a building in the plain, " there you will find hay 
and straw for them; then come back here, and knock thrice, 
and we will give you out some provisions. Marry, forsooth, 
people don't die of hunger here." 

And Aramis, drawing in the ladder, closed the window. 
D'Artagnan then looked around him attentively. 

Never was there an apartment at the same time more war 
like and more elegant. At each corner there were trophies, 
presenting to the view swords of all sorts, and four great 
pictures representing in their ordinary military costume the 
Cardinal de Lorraine, the Cardinal de Richelieu, the Cardinal 
de la Valette and the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Exteriorly 
nothing in the room showed that it was the habitation of an 
abbe. The hangings were of damask, the carpets came from 
Alengon, and the bed, more especially, had more the look of 
a fine lady's couch, with its trimmings of fine lace, and its 
embroidered counterpane, than of a man who had made a 



56 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

vow that he would endeavor to gain heaven by fasting and 
mortification. 

While D'Artagnan was engaged in contemplation the 
door opened, and Bazin entered; on perceiving the muske 
teer he uttered an exclamation which was almost a cry of 
despair. 

" My dear Bazin," said D'Artagnan, " I am delighted to 
see with what wonderful composure you tell a lie even in a 
church!" 

"Sir," replied Bazin, "I have been taught by the good 
Jesuit fathers, that it is permitted to tell a falsehood when it 
is told in a good cause." 

" So far well," said Aramis; " we are dying of hunger. 
Serve us up the best supper you can, and especially give us 
some good wine." 

Bazin bowed low, and left the room. 

" JSovv we are alone, dear Aramis," said D'Artagnan " tell 
me how the devil did you manage to light upon the back of 
Planehet's horse?" 

"Eh! faith!" answered Aramis, "as you see, from 
heaven." 

"From heaven!" replied D'Artagnan, shaking his head; 
" you have no more the appearance of coming from thence 
than you have of going there." 

" My friend," said Aramis, with a look of imbecility on 
his face which D'Artagnan had never observed while he was 
in the musketeers, " if I did not come from heaven, at least 
I was leaving paradise, which is almost the same." 

" Here, then, is a puzzle for the learned," observed 
D'Artagnan; " until now they have never been able to agree 
as to the situation of paradise: some place it on Mount 
Ararat, others between the Tigris and the Euphrates; it seems 
that they have been looking very far off for it, while it was 
actually very near. Paradise is at Noisy le See, upon the 
site of the archbishop's chateau. People do not go out from 
it by the door, but by the window; one doesn't descend here 
by the marble steps of a peristyle, but by the branches of a 
lime tree; and the angel with a flaming sword who guards 
this elysium, seems to have changed his celestial name of 
Gabriel into that of the more terrestrial one of the Prince de 
Marsillac." 

Aramis burst out into a fit of laughter. 

" You were always a merry companion, my dear D'Artag 
nan," he said, "and your witty Gascon fancy has not deserted 
you. Yes, there is something in what you say; nevertheless, 



TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 57 

do not believe that it is Madame de Lougueville with whom I 
am in love." 

"A plague on't! I shall not do so. After having been so 
ioug in love with Madame de Chevreuse, you would not lay 
your heart at the feet of her mortal enemy!" 

" Yes," replied Aramis, with an absent air, "yes, that poor 
duchess! I once loved her much, and to do her justice, she 
was very useful to us. Eventually she was obliged to leave 
France. He was a relentless enemy, that damned cardinal/' 
continued Aramis, glancing at the portrait of the old minister. 
" He had even given orders to arrest her, and would have cut 
off her head, had she not escaped with her waiting-maid 
poor Kitty! The duchess escaped in man's clothes, and a 
couplet was made upon her " and Aramis hummed a few 
lines of a well-known song of the day. 

"Bravo!" cried D'Artagnan, "you sing charmingly, dear 
Aramis. I do not perceive that singing masses has altered 
your voice." 

"My dear D'Artagnan," replied Aramis, "you understand, 
when I was a musketeer I mounted guard as seldom as I conld; 
now, when I am an abbe, I say as few masses as I can. But 
to return to our duchess." 

"Which? the Duchess de Chevreuse or the Duchess de 
Longueville?" 

" Have I not already told you that there is nothing between 
me and the Duchess de Longueville? little flirtations, per 
haps, and that's all. No, I spoke of the Duchess de Chev 
reuse; did you see her after her return from Brussels, after 
the king's death?" 

" Yes, she is still beautiful." 

" Yes," said Aramis, " I saw her also at that time. I gave 
her good advice, by which she did not profit. I ventured to 
tell her that Mazarin was the lover of Anne of Austria. She 
wouldn't believe me, saying, that she knew Anne of Austria, 
who was too proud to love such a worthless coxcomb. She 
since plunged into the cabal headed by the Duke of Beaufort; 
and the 'coxcomb' arrested De Beaufort, and banished 
Madame de Chevreuse." 

"You know," resumed D'Artagnau, "that she has had 
leave to return to France?" 

" Yes, she is come back, and is going to commit some fresh 
folly or another; she is much changed." 

" In that respect unlike you, my dear Aramis, for you are 
still the same; you have still your beautiful dark hair, still 
your elegant figure, still your feminine hands, which are ad 
mirably suited to a prelate.'' 



58 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Yes," replied Aramis, " I am extremely careful of my 
appearance. Do you know that I am growing old; I am 
nearly thirty-seven." 

" Mind, Aramis " D'Artagnan smiled as he spoke " since 
we are together again, let us agree on one point, what age 
shall we be in future?" 

" How?" 

" Formerly, I was your junior by two or three years, and \f. 
I am not mistaken, I am turned forty years old." 

"Indeed! Then 'tis I who am mistaken, for yon have 
always been a good chronologist. By your reckoning I must 
be forty-three at least. The devil I am! Don't let it out at 
the Hotel Rambouillet, it would ruin me," replied the 
abbe. 

" Don't be afraid, I shall not," said D'Artagnan. 

" And now let us go to supper," said Aramis, seeing that 
Bazin had returned and prepared the table. 

The two friends sat down, and Aramis began to cut up 
fowls, partridges, and hams with admirable skill. 

" The deuce!" cried D'Artagnan; '* do you live in this way 
always?" 

" Yes, pretty well. The coadjutor has given me dispen 
sations from fasting on the jours maigres, on account of my 
health; then I have engaged as my cook, the cook who lived 
with Lafollome you know whom I mean? the friend of the 
cardinal, and the famous epicure whose grace after dinner 
used to be ' Good Lord, do me the favor to make me digest 
what I have eaten. " ; 

" Nevertheless, he died of indigestion, in spite of his 
grace," said D'Artagnan. 

" What can you expect?" replied Aramis, in a tone of resig 
nation; "a man must fulfill his destiny." 

" If it be not an indelicate question," resumed D'Artaguan, 
" are you grown rich?" 

" Oh, heaven! no. I make about twelve thousand francs a 
year, without counting a little benefice which the prince gave 
me." 

"And how do you make your twelve thousand francs by 
your poems?" 

" No, I've given up poetry, except now and then to write a 
drinking song, some gay sonnet, or some innocent epigram; I 
make sermons, my friend." 

" How! sermons? Do you preach them?" 

" No; I sell them to those of my cloth who wish to be 
come great orators." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 59 

" Ah, indeed! and you have not been tempted by the hopes 
of reputation yourself?" 

" I should, my dear D'Artagnan, have been so, but nature 
said ' No.' When I am in the pulpit, if by chance, a pretty 
woman looks at me, I look at her again; if she smiles, I smile 
also. Then I speak at random; instead of preaching about the 
torments of hell, I talk of the joys of paradise. An event took 
place in the Church of St. Louis au Marais. A gentleman 
laughed in my face. I stopped short to tell him that he was a 
fool; the congregation went out to get stones to stone me 
with; but while they were away, I found means to conciliate 
the priests who were present, so that my foe was pelted in* 
stead of me. 'Tis true that he came the next morning to my 
house, thinking that he had to do with an abbe like all 
other abb6s." 

"And what was the end of the affair?" 

" We met in the Place Eoyale Egad, you know about it." 

" Was I not your second?" cried D'Artagnan. 

" You were you know how I settled the matter!" 

"Did he die?" 

"I don't know. But at all events, I gave him absolution 
' in articulo mortis.' 'Tis enough to kill the body, without 
killing the soul." 

A long silence ensued after this disclosure. Aramis was the 
first to break it. 

"What are you thinking of, D'Artagnan?" he began. 

" I was thinking, my good friend, that when you were a 
musketeer you turned your thoughts incessantly to the 
church, and now that you are an abbe you are perpetually 
longing to be a musketeer." 

" 'Tis true man, as you know," said Aramis, " is a 
strange animal, made up of contradictions. Since I became 
an abbe I dream of nothing but battles. I practice shooting 
all day long, with an excellent master whom we have here." 

"How! here?" 

" Yes, in this convent we have always a ' maitre d'armes' 
in a convent of Jesuits." 

" Then you would have killed the Prince de Marsillac if he 
had attacked you singly?" 

"Certainly," replied Aramis, " with the greatest ease." 

" Well, dear Aramis, you ask me why I have been search 
ing for you. I sought you, in order to offer you a way of kill 
ing Monsieur de Marsillac whenever you please prince 
though he may be. Are you ambitious? 

" As ambitious as Alexander." 



60 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Well, my friend, I bring you the means of being rich, 
powerful, and free, if you wish. Have you, my dear Aramis, 
thought sometimes of those happy days of our youth that we 
passed laughing, and drinking, and fighting each other for 
play?" 

" Certainly and more than once regretted them 'twas a 
happy time." 

" Well, these happy days may return; I am commissioned 
to find out my companions, and I began by you who were 
the very soul of our society." 

Aramis bowed rather with respect than pleasure at the 
compliment. 

"To meddle in politics," he exclaimed, in a languid voice, 
leaning back in his easy-chair. "Ah! dear D'Artagnan! see 
how regularly I live and how easy I am here. We have ex 
perienced the ingratitude of 'the great/ as you know." 

" 'Tis true," replied D'Artagnan. " Yet the great some 
times repent of their ingratitude." 

" In that case, it would be quite another thing. Come! let's 
be merciful to every sinner; besides, you are right in another 
respect, which is, in thinking that if we were to meddle in 
politics, there could not be a better time than this." 

" How can you know that? You would never interest 
yourself in politics?" 

" Ah? without caring about them myself, I li?e among 
those who are much occupied in them. Poet as I am, I am 
intimate with Sarazin who is devoted to the Prince de 
Conti, and with Monsieur de Bois-Robert, who, since the 
death of Cardinal Richelieu, is of all or any party, so that 
political discussions have not altogether been uninteresting to 
me." 

" I have no doubt of it," said D'Artagnan. 

"Now, my dear friend, don't look upon all I tell you as 
merely the statement of a monk but of a man who resembles 
an echo repeating simply what he hears. I understand that 
Mazariu is, at this very moment, extremely uneasy as to the 
state of affairs; that his orders are not respected like those of 
our former bugbear, the deceased cardinal, whose portrait you 
see here; for whatever may be thought of him, it must be 
allowed that Richelieu was a great man." 

" I shall not contradict you there," said D'Artagnan. 

" My first impressions were favorable to the minister; but, 
as I am very ignorant of those sort of things, and as the 
humility which I profess obliges me not to rest on rny own 
judgment, but to ask the opinion of others, I have inquired 
Eh? my friend " 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 61 

Aramis paused. 

" Well? what?" asked his friend. 

" Well I must mortify myself. I must confess that I was 
mistaken; Monsieur de Mazariu is not a man of genius, as I 
thought: he is a man of no origin once a servant of Cardinal 
Bentivoglio, and he got on by intrigue. He is an upstart, a 
man of no name, who will only be the tool of a party in 
France. He will ainass wealth, he will injure the king's 
revenue, and pay to himself the pensions which Richelieu 
paid to others. He is neither a gentleman in manner nor in 
feeling, but a sort of buffoon, a punchinello, a pantaloon. Do 
you know him? I do not?" 

"Hem!" said D'Artagnan, "there is some truth in what 
you say but you speak of him, not of his party, nor of his 
resources." 

' It is true the queen is for him." 
' Something in his favor." 
' But he will never have the king." 
* A mere child." 

' A child who will be of age in four years. Then he has 
neither the parliament nor the people with him they represent 
the wealth of the country; nor the nobles, nor the princes 
who are the military power of France; but perhaps I am 
wrong in speaking thus to you, who have evidently a leaning 
to Mazarin." 

"I!" cried D'Artagnan, "not in the least." 

" You spoke of a mission." 

"Did I? I was wrong then no, I said what you say 
there is a crisis at hand. Well! let's fly the feather before 
the wind, let us join with that side to which the wind will 
carry it, and resume our adventurous life. We were once four 
valiant knights four hearts fondly united; let us unite again, 
not our hearts, which have never been severed, but our courage 
and our fortunes. Here's a good opportunity for getting 
something better than a diamond." 

" You are right, D'Artagnan; I held a similar project, but, 
as I have hot your fruitful and vigorous imagination, the idea 
was suggested to me. Every one nowadays wants auxiliaries; 
propositions have been made to me, and I confess to you. 
frankly, that the coadjutor has made me speak out." 

"The Prince de Conti! the cardinal's enemy?" 

"No! the king's friend." 

" But the king is with Mazarin." 

" He is, but not willingly in appearance, not heart; and 
that is exactly the snare that the king's enemies prepare for a 
poor child. " 



62 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

st Ah! but this is, indeed, civil war which you propose to 
we, dear Aram is." 

" War for the king." 

" Yet the king will be at the head of the army on Mazarin's 
side." 

" But his heart will be in the army commanded by the Duo 
de Beaufort." 

" Monsieur de Beaufort? He is at Vincenues." 

"Did I name Monsieur de Beaufort?" said Aramis. 

" Monsieur de Beaufort or some one else. The prince, 
perhaps. But Monsieur de Conti is going to be made a 
cardinal." 

" Are there not warlike cardinals?" said Aramis. 

" Do you see any great advantage in adhering to this party?" 
asked D'Artagnan. 

" I foresee in it the aid of powerful princes." 

"With the enmity of the government." 

" Counteracted by parliament and insurrections." 

" That may be done, if they can separate the king from his 
mother." 

" That may be done," said Aramis. 

" Never!" cried D'Artagnan. " You, Aramis, know Anne 
of Austria better than I do. Do you think she will ever for 
get that her son is her safeguard, her shield, the pledge for 
her dignity, for her fortune, for her life? Should she forsake 
Mazarin she must join her son, and go over to the prince's 
side; but you know better than I do that there are certain 
reasons why she can never abandon Mazarin." 

" Perhaps you are right," said Aramis thoughtfully; "there 
fore I shall not pledge myself." 

" To them, or to us, do you mean, Aramis?" 

" To no one." 

"I am a priest," resumed Aramis. " What have I to do 
with politics? I am not obliged to read any breviary. I have 
a little circle of holy abbes and pretty women; everything 
goes on smoothly; so certainly, dear friend, I shall not meddle 
in politics." 

" Well, listen, my dear Aramis," said D'Artagnan, " your 
philosophy convinces me, on my honor. I don't know what 
devil of an insect stung me, and made me ambitious. I 
have a post by which I live; at the death of Monsieur de Tre- 
ville, who is old, I may be a captain, which is a very pretty 
position fora poor Gascon. Instead of running after adven 
tures, I shall accept an invitation from Forth os; I shall go and 
shoot on his estate. You know he has estates Porthos?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEK. 63 

" I should think so, indeed. Ten leagues of wood, of 
marshland and valleys; he is lord of the hill and the plain? 
and is now carrying on a suit for his feudal rights against the 
bishop of Noyon!" 

"Good /'said D'Artagnan to himself. " That's what I 
wanted to know. Porthos is in Picardy!" 

Then aloud 

" And he has taken his ancient name of Valon?" 

" To which he adds that of Bracieux an estate which has 
been a barony, by my troth." 

" So that Porthos will be a baron." 

" I don't doubt it. The * Baroness Porthos ' will be partic 
ularly charming." 

And the two friends began to laugh. 

"So," D'Artagnan resumed, "you will not become a 
partisan of Mazarin's." 

" Nor you of the Prince de Conde?" 

. " No, lovers belong to no party, but remain friends; let us 
be neither Cardinalists nor Frondists." 

"Adieu, then." And D'Artagnan poured out a glass of wine. 

" To old times," he said. 

" Yes," returned Aramis. " Unhappily those times are 
past." 

"Nonsense! They will return," said D'Artagnan. "At 
all events, if you want me, remember the Rue Ticquetonne, 
Hotel de la Chevrette." 

" And I shall be at the convent of Jesuits, from six in the 
morning to eight at night come by the door. From eight in 
the evening until six in the morning come in by the window. 
Go then, my friend," he added, " follow your career; Fortune 
smiles on you; do not let her flee from you. As for me, I 
remain in my humility and my indolence. Adieu!" 

" Thus, 'tis quite decided," said D'Artagnan, "that what 
I have to offer you does not suit you?" 

"On the contrary, it would suit me were I like any other 
man," rejoined Aramis, " but, I repeat, I am made up of 
contradictions. What I hate to-day, I adore to-morrow, and 
vice versa. You see, that I cannot, like you for instance, 
settle on any fixed plan." 

" Thou liest, subtle one," said D'Artagnan to himself. 
" Thou alone, on the contrary, knowest how to choose thy 
object, and to gain it stealthily." 

The friends embraced. They descended into the plain by 
the ladder. Planchet met them close by the shed. D'Artag 
nan jumped on his saddle, then the old companions in arms 



64 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

again shook bauds. D'Artagnan and Plauchet spurred on 
their horses and took the road to Paris. 

But after he had gone about two hundred steps, D'Artaguan 
stopped short, alighted, threw the bridle of his horse over the 
arm of Planchet, and took the pistols from his saddle-bow to 
fasten them to his girdle. 

What's the matter?" asked Planchet. 

" This is the matter; be he ever so cunning, he shall never 
say that I was his dupe. Stand here, don't stir, turn your 
back to the road, and wait for me." 

Having thus spoken, D'Artagnan cleared the ditch by the 
roadside, and crossed the plain so as to wind around the vil 
lage. He had observed between the house that Madame de 
Longueville inhabited and the convent of Jesuits, an open 
space surrounded by a hedge. 

The moon had now risen, and he could see well enough to 
re twee his road. 

He reached the hedge, and hid himself behind it; in passing 
by the house where the scene which we have related took place, 
he remarked that the window was again lighted up, and he 
was convinced that Aramis had not yet returned to his own 
apartment, and that when he did return there, it would not 
be alone. 

In truth, in a few minutes he heard steps approaching, 
and low whispers. 

Close to the hedge the steps stopped. 

D'Artagnan knelt down near the thickest part of the hedge, 

Two men to the astonishment of D'Artagnan appeared 
shortly: soon, however, his surprise vanished, for he heard 
the murmurs of a soft, harmonious voice; one of these two 
men was a woman disguised as a cavalier. 

" Calm yourself, dear Kene," said the soft voice, " the 
same thing will never happen again. I have discovered a 
sort of subterranean passage which runs under the street, and 
we shall only have to raise one of the marble slabs before the 
door to open you an entrance and an outlet." 

" Oil!" answered another voice, which D'Artagnan soon 
recognized as that of Aramis. " I swear to you, princess, 
that your reputation does not depend on precautions, and 
that I would risk my life rather than " 

" Yes, yes! I know you are brave and venturesome as any 
man in the world, but you do not belong to me alone; you 
belong to all our party. Be prudent! be sensible!" 

" I always obey, madam, when I am commanded by so 
gentle a voice." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 65 

He kissed her hand tenderly. 

"Ah!" exclaimed the cavalier with the soft voice. 

" What's the matter?" asked Aramis. 

" Do you not see that the wind has blown off my hat?" 

Aramis rushed after the fugitive hat. D'Artagnan took 
advantage of the circumstance to find a place in the hedge 
not so thick, where his glance could penetrate to the supposed 
cavalier. At that instant," the moon, inquisitive, perhaps, 
like D'Artagnan, came from behind a cloud, and by her light 
D'Artagnan recognized the large blue eyes, the golden hair, 
and the classic head of the Duchess de Longueville. 

Aramis returned, laughing; one hat on his head, and the 
other in his hand; and he and his companion resumed their 
walk toward the convent. 

"Good!" said D'Artagnan, rising and brushing his knees; 
" now I have thee thou art a Frondeur, and the lover of 
Madame de Longueville." 



CHAPTER X. 

MONSIEUR PORTHOS DE VALON DE BRACIEUX DE PIERREFONDS. 

THANKS to what Aramis had told him, D'Artagnan, who 
knew already that Porthos called himself De Valon, was now 
aware that he styled himself, from his estate, De Bracieux; 
and that he was, on account of this estate, engaged in a law 
suit with the bishop of Noyon. 

At eight o'clock in the evening, he and Planchet again 
left the hotel of the Chevrette, quitting Paris by the Porte 
Saint Denis. 

Their route lay through Daumartin and then, taking one 
of two roads that branched off to Compi^gne, when it was 
necessary to inquire the situation of the estate of Bracieux. 

They traveled always at night; and having learned at 
Villars-Cotterets that Porthos was at the property which he 
had lately bought, called Pierrefouds, they set out, taking 
the road which leads from Villars-Cotterets to Compiegne. 

The morning was beautiful; and in this early springtime 
the birds sang on the trees, and the sunbeams shone through 
the misty glades, like curtains of golden gauze. 

In other parts of the forest the light could scarcely 
penetrate through the foliage; and the stems of two old oak 
trees the refuge of the squirrel, startled by the travelers- 
were in deep shadow. 



66 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

There came up from all nature in the dawn of day a per 
fume of herbs, flowers, and leaves, which delighted the heart. 
D'Artagnan, sick of the closeness of Paris, thought that when 
a man had three names of his different estates joined one to 
another, he ought to be very happy in such a paradise; then 
he shook his head, saying, " If I were Porthos, and D'Ar 
tagnan came to make to me such a proposition as 1 am going 
to make to him, I know what I should say to it." 

As to Planchet, he thought of nothing. 

At the extremity of the wood D'Artagnan perceived the 
road which had been described to him; and at the end of the 
road he saw the towers of an immense feudal castle. 

" Oh! oh!" he said, "I fancied this castle belonged to the 
ancient branch of Orleans. Can Porthos have negotiated for 
it with the Due de Longueville?" 

"Faith!" exclaimed Planchet. "Here's land in good 
condition; if it belongs to Monsieur Porbhos, I shall wish him 

joy." 

" Zounds!" cried D'Artagnan, " don't call him Porthos, 
nor even Valon: call him De Bracieux or De Pierrefonds; 
thou wilt ruin my mission otherwise." 

As he approached the castle, which had first attracted his 
eye, D'Artagnau was convinced that it could not be there that 
his friend dwelt: the towers, though solid, and as if built 
yesterday, were open and broken. One might have fancied 
that some giant had cloven them with blows from a hatchet. 

On arriving at the extremity of the castle, D'Artagnau 
found himself overlooking a beautiful valley, in which, at the 
foot of a charming little lake, stood several scattered houses, 
which, humble in their aspect, and covered, some with tiles 
and others with thatch, seemed to acknowledge as their 
sovereign lord a pretty chateau, built about the beginning of 
the reign of Henry IV., and surmounted by some stately 
weathercocks. D'Artagnan felt now no doubt of this being 
the dwelling of Porthos. 

The road led straight up to this chdteau, which, compared 
to its ancestor on the hill, was exactly what a fop of the 
coterie of the Due d'Enghien would have been beside a 
knight in steel armor in the time of Charles VI. D'Artag 
nan spurred his horse on and pursued his road, followed by 
PlancL-.et at the same pace. 

In ten minutes D'Artagnan reached the end of an alley 
regular ! y planted with fine poplars, and terminating in an 
iron gate, the points and crossed bars of which were gilt. In 
the midst of this avenue was a nobleman dressed in green, and 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 67 

with as much gilding about him as the iron gate, riding on a 
tall horse. On his right hand and his left were two footmen, 
with the seams of their dresses laced. A considerable num 
ber of clowns were assembled and rendered homage to their 
lord. 

"Ah!" said D'Artagnan to himself, "can this be the 
Seigneur du Valon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds? Well-a-day! 
how he is wrinkled since he has given up the name of 
Forth os !" 

" This cannot be Monsieur Porthos," observed Planchet, 
replying, as it were, to his master's thoughts. "Monsieur 
Porthos was six feet high; this man is scarcely five." 

" Nevertheless," said D'Artagnan. " the people are bowing 
very low to this person." 

As he spoke he rode toward the tall horse to the man of 
importance and his valets. As he approached he seemed to 
recognize the features of this individual. 

"Jesus!" cried Planchet, "can it be he?" 

At this exclamation the man on horseback turned slowly, 
and with a lofty air; and the two travelers could see, dis^ 
played in all their brilliancy, the large eyes, the vermilion 
visage, and the eloquent smile of Mousqueton. 

It was, indeed, Mousqueton Mousqueton, a* fat as a pig,, 
rolling about with rude health, puffed out with good living, 
who, recognizing D'Artagnan, and acting very differently 
from the hypocrite Bazin, slipped off his horse and approached 
the officer with his hat off; so that the homage of the assem 
bled crowd was turned toward this new sun, whu'h eclipsed 
the former luminary. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan! Monsieur d'Artagnan!" eried 
Mousqueton, his fat cheeks swelling ou j and his whole frame 
perspiring with joy. "Monsieur d'Artagnan! oh! what joy 
for my lord and master De Valon de Bracieux de Pierre- 
fond s'r 

" Thou good Mousqueton! where is thy master?" 

"You are on his property." 

" But how handsome thou art how fat! how thou'st pros 
pered and grown stout!" and D'Artagnan could not restrain 
his astonishment at the change which good "fortune had pro 
duced upon the once famished one. 

"Hey? yes, thank God, I am pretty well," said Mous 
queton. 

" But dost thou say nothing to thy friend Planchet?" 

"How? my friend Planchet? Planchet art thou here?" 
cried Mousqueton, with open arms and eyes full of tears. 



68 TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 

" My very self," replied Planchet; " but I wanted first to 
see if thou wert grown proud." 

" Proud toward an old friend? never, Planchet! thou 
wouldst not have thought so hadst thou known Mousqueton 
well." 

" So far so well," answered Planchet, alighting, and ex 
tending his arms to Mousqueton, and the two servants 
embraced with an emotion which touched those who were 
present, and made them suppose that Planchet was a great 
lord in disguise, so greatly did they estimate the position of 
Mousqueton. 

" And now, sir," resumed Mousqueton, when he had rid 
himself of Planchet, who had in vain tried to clasp his hands 
round his friend's back, " now, sir, allow me to leave you, 
for I could not permit my master to hear of your arrival from 
any one but myself; he would never forgive me for not hav 
ing preceded you." 

" This dear friend," said D'Artagnan, carefully avoiding to 
utter either the former name borne by Porthos, or his new 
one; "then he has not forgotten me?" 

"Forgotten! he!" cried Mousqueton; "there's not a day, 
sjr, that we don't expect to hear that you were made marshal, 
either instead of Monsieur de Gassiou or of Monsieur de Bas- 
sompierre." 

On D'Artagnan's lips there played one of those rare and 
melancholy smiles which seemed to come from the depth of 
his heart; the last trace of youth and happiness which had 
survived disappointment. 

"And you fellows," resumed Mousqueton, "stay near 
Monsieur le Comte D'Artagnan, and pay him every attention 
in your power, while I go to prepare my lord for his visit." 

And mounting his horse, Mousqueton rode off down the 
avenue, on the grass, in an easy gallop. 

"Ah! there! there's something promising," said D'Artag 
nan. " No mysteries, no cloak to hitie one's self in no cunning 
policy here; people laugh outright, they weep for joy here. 
I see nothing but faces a yard broad; in short, it seems to me 
that Nature herself wears a holiday suit, and that the trees, 
instead of the leaves and flowers, are covered with red and 
green ribbons, as on gala days." 

" As for me," said Planchet, " I seem to smell from this 
place even a most delectable smell of roast meat, and to see 
the scullions in a row by the hedge, hailing our approach. 
Ah! sir, what a cook must Monsieur Pierrefonds have, when 
he was so fond of eating and drinking, even while he was only 
called Monsieur Porthos!" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 69 

"Say no more!" cried D'Artagnan. "If the reality cor 
responds with appearances, I'm lost; for a man so well off 
will never change his happy condition; and I shall fail with 
him, as I have already done with Aramis." 



CHAPTER XI. 

HOW D'ARTAGNAN, IN DISCOVERING THE RETREAT OF PORTHOS, 
PERCEIVES THAT WEALTH DOES NOT PRODUCE HAPPINESS. 

D'ARTAGNAN passed through the iron gate, and arrived in 
front of the chateau. He alighted, as he saw a species of 
giant on the steps. Let us do justice to D'Artagnan; that, 
independent of every selfish wish, his heart palpitated with 
joy when he saw that tall form and martial demeanor, which 
recalled to him a good and brave man. 

He ran to Porthos and threw himself into his arms; the 
whole body of servants, arranged in a circle at a respectful 
distance, looked on with humble curiosity. Mousqueton, at 
the head of them, wiped his eyes. Porthos put his arm in 
that of his friend. 

"Ah! how delightful to see you again, dear friend," he 
cried, in a voice which was now changed from a baritone 
into a bass; "you've not then forgotten me?" 

"Forgot you! oh! dear De Valon, does one forget the hap 
piest days of one's youth one's dearest friends the dangers 
we have dared together? on the contrary, there is not an hour 
that we have passed together that is not present to my 
memory." 

" Yes, yes," said Porthos, trying to give to his m ustache 
a curl which it had lost while he had been alone. " Yes, wo 
did some fine things in our time, and we gave that poor car 
dinal some thread to unravel." 

And he heaved a sigh. 

" Under any circumstances," he resumed, "you are wel 
come, my dear friend; you will help me to recover my spirits; 
to-morrow we will hunt the hare on my plain, which ia 
a superb tract of land, or we'll pursue the deer in my woods, 
which are magnificent. I have four harriers, which are con 
sidered the swiftest in our county, and a pack of hounda 
which are unequaled for twenty leagues round. 

And Porthos heaved another sigh. 

"But first," interposed D'Artagnan, "you must present 
me to Madame de Valon." 

A third sigh from Porthoe. 



70 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

" I lost Madame de Valon two years ago," he said, "and 
you find me still in affliction on that account. That was the 
reason why I left my Chateau de Valon, near Corbeil, and 
came to my estate, Bracieux. Poor Madame de Valon! her 
temper was uncertain, but she came at last to accustom her 
self to my ways and to understand my little wishes." 

" So you are free now and rich?" 

" Alas!" replied Porthos, " I am a widower, and have forty 
thousand francs a year. Let us go to breakfast." 

" I shall be happy to do so; the morning air has made me 
hungry." 

" Yes," said Porthos, " my air is excellent." 

They went into the chateau; there was nothing but gild 
ing, high and low; the cornices were gilt, the moldings 
were gilt, the legs and arms of the chairs were gilt. A 
table, ready set out, awaited them. 

"You see," said Porthos, "this is my usual style." 

" Devil take me!" answered D'Artagnan, " I wish you joy 
of it. The king has nothing like this." 

" No," answered Porthos; " I hear it said that he is very 
badly fed by the cardinal, Monsieur de Mazarin. Taste this 
cutlet, my dear D'Artagnan; 'tis off one of my sheep." 

" You have very tender mutton, and I wish you joy of it," 
said D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, the sheep are fed in my meadows, which are ex 
cellent pasture." 

"Give me another cutlet." 

"No, try this hare, which I had killed yesterday in one 
of my warrens." 

"Zounds! what a flavor!" cried D'Artagnan; "ah! they 
are fed on thyme only, your hares." 

"And how do you like my wine?" asked Porthos; "it is 
pleasant, isn't it?" 

"Capital." 

"It's nothing, however, but a wine of the country.'' 

" Really." 

" Yes, a small declivity to the south, yonder, on my hill, 
gives me twenty hogsheads." 

" Quite a vineyard, hey?" 

Porthos sighed for the fifth time D'Artagnan had counted 
his sighs. He became curious to solve the problem. 

"Well, now," he said, "it seems, my dear friend, that 
something vexes you; you are ill, perhaps? That health, 
which " 

" Excellent, my dear friend; better than ever. I could kill 
an ox with a blow of my fist." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 71 

" Well, then, family affairs, perhaps?" 

"Family! I have, happily, only myself in the world to 
care for." 

"But what makes you sigh?" 

"My dear fellow," replied Porthos, "to be candid with 
you, I am not happy." 

"You not happy, Porthos? You who have a chateau, 
meadows, hills, woods you who have forty thousand francs a 
year you not happy?" 

" My dear friend, all those things I have, but I am alone 
in the midst of them." 

" Surrounded, I suppose, only by clodhoppers, with whom, 
you could not associate." 

Porthos turned rather pale, and drank off a large glass of 
wine. 

"No; but just think, there are paltry country squires who 
have all some title or another, and pretend to go back as far 
as Charlemagne, or at least to Hugh Capet. When I first 
came here, being the last comer, it was to me to make the 
fhvst advances. I made them; but, you know, my dear friend, 
Madame de Valon " 

Porthos, in pronouncing these words, seemed to gulp down 
something. 

" Madame de Valon was of doubtful gentility. She had in 
her first marriage (I don't think, D'Artaguan, I am telling 
you anything new) married a lawyer; they thought that 
' nauseous;' you can understand that's a word bad enough to 
make one kill thirty thousand men. I have killed two, 
which has made people hold their tongues, but has not made 
me their friend. So that I have no society I live alone; I 
am sick of it my mind preys on itself." 

D'Artagnan smiled. He now saw where the breastplate 
was weak, and prepared the blow. 

"But now," he said, "that you are a widower, your wife's 
connections cannot injure you." 

" Yes, but understand me; not being of a race of historic 
fame, like the De Coucys, who were content to be plain sirs, 
or the Rohans, who didn't wish to be dukes, all these people, 
who are all either vicomtesor comtes, go before me at church, 
in all the ceremonies, and I can say nothing to them. Ah! if 
I were merely a " 

"A baron, don't you mean?" cried D'Artagnan, finishing 
his friend's sentence. 

"Ah! cried Porthos; "would I were but a baron!" 

" Well, my friend, I am come to give you this very title, 
which you wish for so much." 



72 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Porthos gave a jump which shook all the room; two or 
three bottles fell and were broken. Mousqueton ran thither, 
hearing the noise. 

Porthos waved his hand to Mousqueton to pick up the 
bottles. 

"I am glad to see," said D'Artagnan, " that you have still 
that honest lad with you." 

" He's rny steward," replied Porthos; " he will never leave 
me. Go away now, Houston." 

"So he's called Houston," thought D'Artagnan; "'tis too 
long a word to pronounce, Mousqueton." 

"Well," he said aloud, "let us resume our conversation 
later your people may suspect something there may be 
spies about. You can suppose, Porthos, what I have to say 
relates to important matters." 

"Devil take them, let us walk in the park," answered 
Porthos, " for the sake of digestion." 

"Egad, "said D'Artaguan, "the park is like everything 
else, and there are as many fish in your pond as rabbits in 
your warren; you're a happy man, my friend, since you have 
retained your love of the chase, and acquired that of fishing." 

" My friend," replied Porthos, " I leave fishing to Housque- 
ton it is a vulgar pleasure; but I shoot sometimes, that is to 
say, when I am dull, and I sit on one of those marble seats, 
have my gun brought to me, my favorite dog, and I shoot 
rabbits/' 

" Really, how very amusing!" 

" Yes," replied Porthos, with a sigh; " it is very amusing!" 

D'Artagnan now no longer counted the sighs. 

"However, what had yon to say to me?" he resumed, "let 
us return to that subject." 

" With pleasure," replied D'Artagnan; "I must, however, 
first frankly tell you that you must change your mode of 
life." 

"How?" 

" Go into harness again, gird on your sword, run after ad 
ventures, and leave, as in old times, a little of your fat on the 
roadside." 

" Ah! hang it!" said Porthos. 

" I see you are spoiled, dear friend, you are corpulent, your 
arm has no longer that movement of which the late cardinal's 
guards had so many proofs." 

"Ah! my fist is strong enough, I swear," cried Porthos, 
extending a hand like a shoulder of mutton. 

"So much the better." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 73 

" Are we then to go to war?*' 

'* By my troth, yes." 

" Against whom?" 

" Are you a politician, my friend?" 

"Not in the least." 

" Are you for Mazarin, or for the princes?" 

" I am for no one." 

" That is to say you are for us. Well, I tell you that I come 
to you from the cardinal." 

This speech was heard by Porthos in the same sense as if 
it had still been in the year 1640, and related to the true 
cardinal. 

"Ho! ho! what are the wishes of his eminence?" 

" He wishes to have you in his service. Rochefort has 
spoken of you and since, the queen and, to inspire us with 
confidence, she has even placed in Mazarin's hands that 
famous diamond you know about it that I had sold to 
Monsieur Dessessarts, and of which I don't know how she 
regained possession." 

" But it seems to me," said Porthos, " that she would have 
done much better to give it back to you." 

" So I think," replied D'Artagnan; "but kings and queens 
are strange beings, and have odd fancies; nevertheless, since 
it is they who have riches and honors, one is devoted to them." 

" Yes, one is devoted to them," repeated Porthos; " and 
you, to whom are you devoted, now?" 

" To the king, the queen, and to the cardinal; moreover, I 
have answered for your devotion also; for, notwithstanding 
your forty thousand francs a-year, and, perhaps, even for the 
very reason that you have forty thousand francs a-year, it 
seems to me that a little coronet would do well on your 
carriage, hey?" 

" Yes, indeed," said Porthos. 

"Well, my dear friend, win it it is at the point of our 
swords. We shall not interfere- with each other your object 
is a title; mine, money. If I can get enough to rebuild 
Artagnan, which my ancestors impoverished by the Crusades, 
allowed to fall into ruins, and to buy thirty acres of laud about 
it, it is all I wish. I shall retire, and die tranquilly there." 

" For my part," said Porthos, " I wish to be made a 
baron." 

" You shall be one." 

" And have you not seen any of our other friends?" 

" Yes; I have seen Aramis." 

" And what does he wish? To be a bishop?" 
4 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



74 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

" Aramis," answered D'Artagnan, who did not wish to un 
deceive Porthos. "Aramis, fancy! has become a monk 
and a Jesuit, and lives like a bear. My offers could not rouse 
him." 

" So much the worse! He was a clever man and Athos?" 

" I have not yet seen him. Do you know where I shall 
find him?" 

" Near Blois. He is called Bragelonne. Only imagine, 
my dear friend. Athos, who was of as high birth as the em 
peror, and who inherits one estate which gives him the title 
of comte, what is he to do with all those dignities Comte de 
la Fere, Comte dfe Bragelonne?" 

" And he has no children with all these titles?'' 

" Ah!" said Porthos, "I have heard that he had adopted a 
young man who resembles him greatly." 

"What, Athos? Our Athos, who was as virtuous as 
Scipio? Have you seen him?" 

"No." 

"Well, I shall see him to-morrow, and tell him about you; 
but I am afraid, ' entre nous,' that his liking for wine has 
aged and degraded him." 

" Yes, he used to drink a great deal," replied Porthos. 

" And then he was older than any of us," added D'Artagnan. 

" Some years only. His gravity made him look older." 

" Well, then, if we can get Athos, all will be well. If we 
cannot, we will do without him. We two are worth a 
dozen." 

" Yes," said Porthos, smiling at the remembrance of his 
former exploits; " but we four, altogether, would be equal to 
thirty-six; more especially as you say the work will not be 
easy. Will it last long?" 

"By'r lady two or three years, perhaps." 

" So much the better," cried Porthos. " You have no 
idea, my friend, how my bones ache since I came here. Some 
times, on a Sunday, I take a ride in the fields, and on the 
property of my neighbors, in order to pick up some nice little 
quarrel, which I am really in want of, but nothing happens. 
Either they respect or they fear me, which is more likely; 
but they let me trample down the clover with my dogs, insult 
and obstruct every one, and I come back still more weary and 
low-spirited that's all. At any rate, tell me there's more 
chaace of fighting at Paris, is there not?" 

" In that respect, my dear friend, it's delightful. No 
more edicts, no more of the cardinal's guards, no more De 
Jussacs, nor other bloodhounds. 1'Grad ! underneath a lamp, 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 75 

in an inn, anywhere, they ask, ' Are you one of the Fronde?' 
They unsheathe, and that's all that is said. The Duke de 
Guise killed Monsieur de Coligny in the Place Royale, and 
nothing was said of it." 

" Ah, things go on well, then/' said Porthos. 

" Besides which, in a short time,'"' resumed D'Artagnan, 
" we shall have set battles, cannonades, conflagrations, and 
there will be great variety." 

" Well, then, I decide." 

"I have your word, then?" 

" Yes, 'tis given. I shall fight heart and soul for Mazarin; 
but " 

" But!" 

" But he must make me a baron." 

"Zounds!" said D'Artagnan, "that's settled already. I 
answer for your barony." 

On this promise being given, Porthos, who had neverdoubted 
his friend's assurance, turned back with him toward the castle. 



CHAPTER XII. 

IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN THAT IF PORTHOS WERE DISCON 
TENTED WITH HIS CONDITION, MOUSQUETON WAS COM 
PLETELY SATISFIED WITH HIS. 

As THEY returned toward the castle, D'Artagnan thought 
of the miseries of poor human nature, always dissatisfied 
with what it has, always desirous of what it has not. 

In the position of Porthos, D'Artagnan would have been 
perfectly happy; and, to make Porthos contented, there was 
wanting what? five letters to put before his threenames, and 
a little coronet to paint upon the panels of his carriage! 

" I shall pass all my life," thought D'Artagnan, " in seek 
ing for a man who is really contented with his lot." 

While making this reflection, chance seemed, as it were, 
to give him the lie direct. When Porthos had left him to 
give some orders, he saw Mouequeton approaching. The face 
of the steward, despite one slight shade of care, light as a 
summer cloud, seemed one of perfect felicity. 

" Here is what I am looking for," thought D'Artagnan; 
"but alas! the poor fellow does not know the purpose for 
which I am here." 

He then made a sign for Mouequeton to come to him. 

" Sir," said the servant, " I have a favor to ask you." 



76 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Speak out, my friend." 

" I am afraid to do so. Perhaps you will think, eir, that 
prosperity has spoiled me?" 

' Artthou happy, friend?" asked D'Artagnan. 
' As happy as possible, and yet, sir, you may make me 
even happier than I am." 

' Well, speak, if it depends on me." 
'Oh, sir! it depends on you only." 
' I listen I am waiting to hear." 

' Sir, the favor I have to ask of you is, not to call me 
< Mousquetou/ but ' Houston.' Since I have had the honor 
of being my lord's steward, I have taken the last name as 
more dignified, and calculated to make my inferiors respect 
me. You, sir, know how necessary subordination is in an 
establishment of servants." 

D'Artagnan smiled. Porthos lengthened out his names 
Mousqueton cut his short. 

" Well, my dear Houston," he said, " rest satisfied. I will 
call thee Houston; and, if it will make thee happy, I would 
not * tutoyer' you any longer." 

" Oh!" cried Housqueton, reddening with joy; " if you do 
me, sir, such an honor, I shall be grateful all my life 'tis too 
much to ask." 

D'Artaguan was secretly touched with remorse not at 
inducing Porthos to enter into schemes in which his life and 
fortune would be in jeopardy for Porthos, in the title of 
baron had his object and reward; but poor Housqueton, 
whose only wish was to be called Houston was it not cruel 
to snatch him from the delightful state of peace and plenty 
in which he was? 

He was thinking on these matters when Porthos summoned 
him to dinner. 

While dessert was on the table the steward came in to 
consult his master upon the proceedings of the next day, and 
also with regard to the shooting party which had been 
proposed. 

" Tell me, Houston," said Porthos " are my arms in good 
condition?" 

' Your arms, my lord what arms?" 
'Zounds! my weapons." 
' What weapons?" 
' Hy military weapons." 
' Yes, my lord I think so, at any rate. ' 
' Hake sure of it; and if they want it, have them rubbed 
up. Which is my best cavalry horse?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 77 

' Vulcan. " 

'And the best back?" 
' Bayard." 

' What horse dost thou cboose for thyself?" 
' I like Rustand, my lord; a good animal, whose paces suit 
me." 

< Strong, thinkest thou?" 

' Half Norman, half Mecklenburger will go night and 
day." 

" That will do for us. See to these horses. Clean up, or 
make some one else clean, my arms. Then take pistols with 
thee, and a hunting-knife." 

"Are we then going to travel, my lord?" asked Mousque- 
ton, rather uneasy. 

" Something better still, Houston." 

"An expedition, sir?" asked the steward, whose roses 
began to change into lilies. 

" We are going to return to the service, Mouston," replied 
Porthos, still trying to restore his mustache to the military 
curl that it had lost. 

"Into the service the king's service?" Mousqueton 
trembled; even his fat smooth cheeks shook as he spoke, and 
he looked at D'Artagnan with an air of reproach; he staggered, 
and his voice was almost choked. 

" Yes and no. We shall serve in a campaign, seek out 
all sorts of adventures; return, in short, to our former 
life." 

These last words fell on Mousqueton like a thunderbolt. 
It was these terrible former days which made the present so 
delightful; and the blow was so great that he rushed out, 
overcome, and forgot to shut the door. 

The two friends remained alone to speak of the future, and 
to build castles in the air. The good wine which Mousque 
ton had placed before them gave to D'Artagnan a perspective 
shining with quadruples and pistoles, and showed to Porthos 
a blue ribbon and a ducal mantle; they were, in fact, asleep 
on the table when the servants came to -beg them to go to 
bed. 

Mousqueton was, however, a little consoled by D'Artagnan, 
who the next day told him that in all probability war would 
always be carried on in the heart of Paris, and within reach 
of the Ch&teau de Valon, which was near Corbeil; of Bracieux 
which was near Melun; and of Pierrefonds, which was between 
Compi^gne and Villars-Cotterets. 

" But formerly it appears," began Mousqueton timidly. 



78 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Oh," said D'Artagnan, " we don't now make war as we 
did formerly. To-day it's a sort of diplomatic arrangement; 
ask Planchet.'* 

Mousqueton inquired, therefore, the state of the case of his 
old friend, who confirmed the statement of D'Artagmin. 
" But," he added, " in this war prisoners stand a chance of 
being hung." 

"The deuce they do!" said Mousqueton; "I think I 
should like the siege of Rochelle better than this war then!" 

Porthos, meantime, asked D'Artagnan to give him his in 
structions how to proceed on his journey. 

" Four days," replied his friend, " are necessary to reach 
Blois; one day to rest there; three or four days to return to 
Paris. Set out, therefore, in a week, with your suite, and go 
to the Hotel de la Chevrette, Rue Tiquetonne, and wait for 
me there." 

" That's agreed," said Porthos. 

" As to myself, I shall go round to see Athos; for though 
I don't think his aid worth much, one must, with one's 
friends, observe all due politeness/' said D'Artagnan. 

The friends then took leave of each other on the very 
border of the estate of Pierrefouds, to which Porthos escorted 
his friend. 

" At least," D'Artagnan said to himself, as he took the 
road to Villars-Cotterets, "at least I shall not be alone in my 
undertaking. That devil, Porthos, is a man of immense 
strength; still, if Athos, joins us, well we shall be three of 
us to laugh at Aramis that little coxcomb with his good 
luck." 

At Villars-Cotterete he wrote to the cardinal: 

MY LORD: I have already one man to offer to your emi 
nence, and he is well worth twenty men. I am just setting 
out for Blois. The Comte de la Fere inhabits the castle of 
Bragelotme, in the environs of that city." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

TWO ANGELIC FACES. 

THE road was long, but the horses upon which D'Artagnan 
and Planchet rode had been refreshed in the well-supplied 
stables of the Lord of Bracieux; the master and servant rode 
side by side, conversing as they went, for D'Artagnan had by 
degrees, thrown off the master, and Planchet had, entirely 
ceased to assume the manners of a servant. He had been 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 79 

raised by circumstances to the rauk of a confidant to his 
master. It was many years since D'Artagnan had opened his 
heart to any one; it happened, however, that these two men, 
on meeting again, assimilated perfectly. Planchet was, in 
truth, no vulgar companion in these new adventures; he was 
a man of good sense. Without seeking danger, he never 
shrank from an attack; in short, he had been a soldier, and 
arms ennoble a man; it was, therefore, on the footing of 
friends, that D'Artaguan and Planchet arrived in the neigh 
borhood of Blois. 

Going along, D'Artagnan, shaking his head, said: 

" I know that my going to Athos is useless and absurd; 
but I owe this step to my old friend, a man who had in him 
materials for the most noble and generous of characters." 

" Oh, Monsieur Athos was a noble gentleman," said Plan 
chet, " was he not? Scattering money about him as heaven 
scatters hail. Do you remember, sir, that duel with the 
Englishman in the iuclosure Des Cannes? Ah! how lofty, 
how magnificent Monsieur Athos was that day, when he said 
to his adversary, * You have insisted on knowing my name, 
sir; so much the worse for you, since I shall be obliged to 
kill you.' I was near him, those were his exact words; when 
he stabbed his foe, as he said he would, and his adversary fell 
without saving, Oh! 'Tis a noble gentleman Monsieur 
Athos." 

"Yes, true as gospel," said D'Artagnan, "but one single 
fault has swallowed up all these fine qualities." 

"I remember well," said Plauchet "he was fond of 
drinking in truth he drank, but not as other men did. 
One seemed, as he raised the wine to his lips, to hear him 
say, ' Come, juice of the grape, and chase away my sorrows.' 
And how he used to break the stem of a glass, or the neck of 
a bottle! There was no one like him for that." 

"And now," replied D'Artagnan, "behold the sad spec 
tacle that awaits us. This noble gentleman, with his lofty 
glance, this handsome cavalier, so brilliant in feats of arms, 
that every one was surprised that he held in his hand a sword 
only instead of a baton of command! Alas! we shall find 
him changed into a bent-down old man, with red nose, and 
eyes that water; we shall find him extended on some lawn, 
whence he wilHook at us with a languid eye, and, perhaps, 
not recognize us. God knows, Planchet, that I should fly 
from a sight so sad, if I did not wish to show my respect for 
the illustrious shadow of what was once the Comte de la Fe're, 
whom we loved so much." 



80 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Planchet shook his head and said nothing. 

"And then," resumed D'Artagnan, to this decrepitude is 
probably added poverty for he must have neglected the 
little that he had, and the dirty scoundrel, Grimaud, more 
taciturn than ever, and still more drunken than his master 
stay, Planchet, all this breaks my heart to think of." 

" I fancy myself there, and that I see him staggering and 
hear him stammering," said Planchet, in a piteous tone, 
" but at all events, we shall soon know the real state of 
things, for I think those lofty walls, reddened by the setting 
sun, are the walls of Blois." 

" Probably; and yon steeples, pointed and sculptured, that 
we catch a glimpse of yonder, are like what I have heard de 
scribed of Chambord." 

At this moment one of those heavy wagons, drawn by bul 
locks, which carry the wood cut in the fine forests of the 
country to the ports of the Loire, came out of a by-road full 
of ruts, and turned on that which the two horsemen were 
following. A man carrying a long switch with a nail at the 
end of it, with which he urged on his slow team, was walking 
with the cart. 

"Ho! friend," cried Planchet. 

" What's your pleasure, gentlemen?" replied the peasant, 
with a purity of accent peculiar to the people of that district, 
and which might have put to shame the polished dwellers 
near the Sorbonne and the Rue de FUniversitS. 

" We are looking for the house of Monsieur de la Fre," 
said D'Artagnan. 

The peasant took off his hat on hearing this revered name. 

" Gentlemen," he said, " the wood that I am carting is 
his I cut it in his copse, and am taking it to the chateau." 

D'Artagnan determined not to question this man; he did 
not wish to hear from another what he had himself said to 
Planchet. 

" The chdteau," he said to himself; " what chateau? Ah, 
I understand: Athos is not a man to be thwarted; he has 
obliged his peasantry, as Porthos has done his, to call him 
' my lord,' and to call his paltry place a chdtean. He had a 
heavy hand that dear Athos after drinking." 

D'Artagnau, after asking the man the right way, contin 
ued his route, agitated, in spite of himself, a.t the idea of 
seeing once more that singular man whom he had so truly 
loved, and who had contributed so much by his advice and 
example to his education as a gentleman. He slackened the 
pace of his horse, and went on, his head drooping as if in 
deep thought. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 81 

Soon as the road turned, the Chateau de la Vallidre 
appeared in view, then, a quarter of a mile further, a white 
house, encircled in sycamores, was visible at the further end 
of a group of trees, which spring had powdered with a snow 
of flowers. 

On beholding this house, D'Artagnan, calm as he was in 
general, felt an unusual disturbance within his heart so 
powerful during the whole course of his life were the recol 
lections of his youth. He proceeded, nevertheless, and came 
opposite to an iron gate, ornamented in the taste which 
marked the works of that period. 

Through the gate were seen kitchen-gardens, carefully 
attended to, a spacious courtyard, in which neighed several 
horses held by valets in various liveries, and a carriage drawn 
by two horses of the country. 

" We are mistaken," said D'Artagnan; " this cannot be the 
house of Athos. Good heavens! suppose he is dead, and that 
this property now belongs to some one who bears his name. 
Alight, Planchet, and inquire, for I confess I have not cour 
age to do so." 

Planchet alighted. 

" Thou must add," said D'Artagnan, " that a gentleman 
who is passing by wishes to have the honor of paying his 
respects to the Comte de la Fe"re, and if thon art satisfied 
with what thou hearest, then mention my name!" 

Planchet obeyed these instructions. An old servant 
opened the door and took in the message which D'Artaguan 
had ordered Planchet to deliver, in case that his servant was 
satisfied that this was the Comte de la Fe"re whom they 
sought. While Planchet was standing on the steps before 
the house he heard a voice say: 

" Well, where is this gentleman, and why do they not 
bring him here?" 

This voice the sound of which reached D'Artagnan re 
awakened in his heart a thousand sentiments, a thousand 
remembrances that lie had forgotten. He sprang hastily 
from his horse, while Plauchet, with a smile on his lips, was 
advancing toward the master of the house. 

" But! know him I know the lad yonder," said Athos, 
appearing on the threshold. 

" Oh, yes Monsieur le Comte, you know me, and I know 
you. I am Planchet Planchet, whom you know well." But 
the honest servant could say no more, BO much was he over 
come by this unexpected interview. 

"What, Planchet, is Monsieur D'Artaguan here?" 



82 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Here I am, my friend, dear Athos?" cried D'Artagnan in 
a faltering voice, and almost staggering from agitation. 

At these words a visible emotion was expressed on the 
beautiful countenance and calm features of Athos. He 
rushed toward D'Artagnan, with his eyes fixed upon him, 
and clasped him in his arms. D'Artagnan, equally moved, 
pressed him also closely to him, while tears stood in his eyes. 
Athos then took him by the hand and led him into the 
drawing-room, where there were several people. Every one 
rose. 

" I present to you/' he said, " Monsieur le Chevalier D'Ar 
tagnan, lieutenant of his majesty's musketeers, a devoted 
friend, and one of the most excellent and brave gentlemen 
that I have ever known." 

D'Artagnan received the compliments of those who were 
present in his own way; and while the conversation became 
general, he looked earnestly at Athos. 

Strange! Athos was scarcely aged at all! His fine eyes, no 
longer surrounded by that dark line which nights of dis 
sipation draw round them, seemed larger and more liquid 
than ever. His face, a little elongated, had gained in calm 
dignity what it had lost in feverish excitement. His hand, 
always wonderfully beautiful and strong, was set off by a 
ruffle of lace, like certain hands by Titian and Vandyck. He 
was less stiff than formerly. His long dark hair, scattered 
here and there with gray locks, fell elegantly over his shoul 
ders with a wavy curl; his voice was still youthful, as if at 
only twenty-five years old; and his magnificent teeth, which 
he had preserved white and sound, gave an indescribable 
charm to his smile. 

Meanwhile, the guests, seeing that the two friends were 
longing to be alone, prepared to depart, when a noise of dogs 
barking resounded through the courtyard, and many persons 
said, at the same moment: 

"Ah! 'tis Baoul who is come home." 

Athos, as the name of Kaoul was pronounced, looked 
inquisitively at D'Artagnan, in order to see if any curiosity 
was painted on his face. But D'Artagnan was still in con 
fusion, and turned round almost mechanically, when a fine 
young man of fifteen years of age, dressed simply, but in per 
fect taste, entered the room, raising, as he came, his hat, 
adorned with a long plume of red feathers. 

Nevertheless, D'Artagnan was struck by the appearance of 
this new personage. It seemed to explain to him the change 
in Athos; a resemblance between the boy and the man 



TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 83 

explained the mystery of this regenerated existence. He 
remained listening and gazing. 

" Here you are, home" again, Raoul," said the Comte. 

"Yes, sir," replied the youth, with deep respect, "and I 
have performed the commission that you gave me." 

" But what's the matter, Raoul?" said Athos, very anx 
iously. " You are pale and agitated." 

" Sir," replied the young man; "it is on account of an 
accident which has happened to our little neighbor." 

"To Mademoiselle de la Valliere?" asked Athos quickly. 

" What is it?" asked many persons present. 

" She was walking with her nurse, Marceline, in the place 
where the woodmen cut the wood, when, passing on horse 
back, I stopped. She saw me also, and in trying to jump 
from the end of a pile of wood on which she had mounted, 
the poor child fell, and was not able to rise again. She has, 
I fear, sprained her ankle." 

"Oh, heavens!" cried Athos. "And her mother, Madame 
de Saint-Remy, have they told her of it?" 

" No, sir; Madame de Saint-Remy is at Blois, with the 
Duchess of Orleans. I am afraid that what was first done 
was unskillful and useless. I am come, sir, to ask your 
advice." 

" Send directly to Blois, Raoul; or rather take your horse, 
and ride there yourself." 

Raoul bowed. 

" But where is Louisa?" asked the comte. 

" I have brought her here, sir, and I have deposited her in 
the charge of Charlotte, who, till better advice comes, has 
put the foot into iced water." 

The guests now all took leave of Athos, excepting the old 
Duke de Barbe, who, as an old friend of the family of La 
Vallie're, went to see little Louisa, and offered to take her to 
Blois in his carriage. 

" You are right, sir," said Athos. " She will be better 
with her mother. As for you, Raoul, I am sure it is your 
fault; some giddiness or folly." 

"No, sir, I assure you," muttered Raoul, "it is not." 

" Oh, no, no, 1 declare it is not!" cried the young girl, 
while Raoul turned pale at the idea of his being, perhaps, the 
cause of her disaster. 

"Nevertheless, Raoul, you must go to Blois, and you must 
make your excuses and mine to Madame de Saint-Remy." 

The youth looked pleased. He again took in his strong 
arms the little girl, whose pretty golden head and smiling 



84 TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 

face rested on his shoulder, and placed her gently in the car 
riage; then, jumping on his horse with the elegance and 
agility of a first-rate esquire, after bowing to Athos and 
D'Artagnau, he went off close by the door of the carriage, in 
the inside of which his eyes were incessantly riveted. 



CHAPTEK XIV. 

THE CASTLE OF BRAGELONNE. 

WHILE this scene was going on, D'Artagnan remained 
with open mouth and a confused gaze. Everything had 
turned out so differently to what he expected, that he was 
stupefied with wonder. 

Athos, who had been observing him and guessing his 
thoughts, took his arm, and led him into the garden. 

" While supper is being prepared," he said, smiling, " you 
will not, my friend be sorry to have the mystery which so puz 
zles you cleared up.'' 

" True, Monsieur le Comte," replied D'Artagnan, who felt 
that by degrees Athos was resuming that great influence which 
aristocracy had over him. 

Athos smiled. 

" First and foremost, dear D'Artagnan, we have no title 
such as count here. When I call you s chevalier,' it is in 
presenting you to my guests, that they may know who you 
are. But to you, D'Artagnan, I am, I hope, still dear Athos, 
your comrade, your friend. Do you intend to be cere 
monious because you are 4ess attached to me than you 
were ?" 

Oh! God forbid!" 

Then let us be as we used to be; let us be open to each 
other. You are surprised at what you see here?" 
'Extremely." 

But above all things, I am a marvel to you?" 
I confess it." 

I am still young, am I not? Should you not have 
known me again, in spite of my eight-and-forty years of 
age?" 

"On the contrary, I do not find yon the same person at 
all." 

"Ah, I understand," cried Athos, with a slight blush. 
"Everything, D'Artagnan, even folly, has its limit." 

" Then your means, it appears, are improved; you have a 



TWENTY YEAES AFTER. 85 

capital house, your own, I presume? You have a park, horses, 
servants. " 

Athos smiled. 

" Yes; I inherited this little property when I quitted the 
army, as I told you. The park is twenty acres twenty, com 
prising kitchen-gardens and a common. I have two horses 
I don't count my servant's short-tailed nag. My sporting 
dogs consist of two pointers, two harriers, and two setters. 
And then all this extravagance is not for myself," added 
Athos, laughing. 

"Yes, I see, for the young man Raoul," said D'Artagnan. 

"You guess right, my friend; this youth is an orphan, 
deserted by his mother, who left him in the house of a poor 
country priest. I have brought him up. It is he who has 
worked in me the change you see; I was dried up like a 
miserable tree, isolated, attached to nothing on earth; it was 
only a deep affection which could make me take root again, 
and bind me to life. This child has caused me to recover 
what I had lost. I had no longer any wish to live for myself. 
I have lived for him. I have corrected the vices that I had. 
I have assumed the virtues that I had "not. Precept is much, 
example is more. I may be mistaken, but I believe that 
Raoul will be as accomplished a gentleman as our degenerate 
age could display." 

The remembrance of my lady recurred to D'Artagnan. 

" And you are happy?" he said to his friend. 

" As happy as it is allowed to one of God's creatures to be 
on this earth; but say out all you think, D'Artagnan, for you 
have nbt done so." 

" You are too bad, Athos; one can hide nothing from you," 
answered D'Artagnan. " I wished to ask you if you ever 
feel any emotions of terror resembling " 

"Remorse! I finish your phrase yes and no. I do not 
feel remorse, because that woman, I believe, deserved her 
punishment. I do not feel remorse, because, had we allowed 
her to live, she would have persisted in her work of destruc 
tion. But I do not mean, my friend, that we were right in 
what we did. Perhaps all blood that is shed demands an ex 
piation. Hers has been accomplished; it remains, possibly, 
for us to accomplish ours." 

" I have sometimes thought as you do, Athos." 

" She had a son, that unhappy woman?" 

"Yes." 

" Have you ever heard of him?" 

" Never." 



86 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"He must be about twenty-three years of age/' said 
Athos, in a low tone. " I often think of that young man, 
D'Artagnan." 

" Strange! for I had forgotten him/' said the lieutenant. 

Athos smiled the smile-was melancholy. 

" And Lord de Winter do you know anything about 
him?" 

"I know that he is in high favor with Charles I." 

" The fortunes of that monarch are now at a low ebb. He 
Bhed the blood of Strafford: that confirms what I said just 
now blood will have blood: and the queen?" 

" Henrietta of England is at the Louvre?" 

" Yes, and I hear in the greatest poverty. Her daughter, 
during the bitterest cold, was obliged, for want of fire, to 
remain in bed. Why did she not ask from any one of us a 
home instead of from Mazarin? She should have wanted for 
nothing." 

"Have you ever seen the Queen of England?" inquired 
D'Artagnan. 

" No, but my mother, as a child, saw her. My mother 
was maid of honor to Marie de Medici." 

At this instant they heard the sound of horses' feet. 

" 'Tis Raoul, who is come back," said Athos; " and we 
can now hear how the poor child is. Well," he added, " I 
hope the accident has been of no consequence?" 

" They don't yet know, sir, on account of the swelling; but 
the doctor is afraid some muscle may be injured." 

At this moment a little boy, half-peasant, half-footboy, 
came to announce supper. 

Athos led his guest into a dining-room of moderate size, 
the windows of which opened on one side on a garden on 
the other on a hothouse, full of magnificent flowers. 

D'Artagnan glanced at the dinner-service. The plate was 
magnificent, old, and belonging to the family. D'Artagnan 
stopped to look at a sideboard, on which was a superb ewer of 
silver. 

" That workmanship is divine!" he exclaimed. 

" Yes, a chef-d'oeuvre of the great Florentine sculptor, 
Benvenuto Cellini,'* replied Athos. 

" What battle does it represent?" 

" That of Marignan, just at the point where one of my 
forefathers is offering his sword to Francis I., who had broken 
his. It was on that occasion that my ancestor, Emgu errand 
de la Fere was made a knight of the order of St. Michael; 
besides which the king, fifteen years afterward, gave him 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 87 

also this ewer, and a sword which you may have seen formerly 
in my house, also a beautiful specimen of workmanship. Men 
were giants in those times/' said Athos; " now we are pigmies 
in comparison. Let us sit down to supper. Call Charles," 
he added, addressing the boy who waited. 

" My good Charles, I particularly recommend to your care 
Planchet, the ' laquais ' of Monsieur D'Artagnan. He likes 
good wine; now you have the key of the cellar he has slept 
a long time on a hard bed, so he won't object to a soft one 
take care of him, I beg of you." Charles bowed and retired. 

"You think of everything," said D'Artagnan; "and I 
thank you for Plauchet, my dear Athos." 

Eaoul stared on hearing this name, and looked at the 
count to be quite sure that it was he whom the lieutenant 
thus addressed. 

"That name sounds strange to you," said Athos, smiling; 
" it was my ' nom de guerre,' when Monsieur D'Artagnan, 
two other gallant friends, and myself performed some feats 
of arms at the siege of La Rochelle, under the deceased car 
dinal and Monsieur de Bassompierre. My friend is still so 
kind as .to address me by that old and dear appellation, which 
makes my heart glad when I hear it." 

" 'Tis an illustrious name," said the lieutenant, "and had 
one day triumphal honors paid to it." 

" What do you mean, sir?" inquired Raoul. 

"You have not forgotten Saint Gervais, Athos, and the 
napkin which was converted into a banner;" and he then re 
lated to Raoul the story of the bastion, and Raoul fancied he 
was listening to one of those deeds of arms belonging to days of 
chivalry, and recounted by Tasso and Ariosto. 

" D'Artagnan does not tell you, Raoul," said Athos, in his 
turn, " that he was reckoned one of the best swordsmen of 
his time a knuckle of iron, a wrist of steel, a sure eye, and a 
glance of fire that's what his adversary met with from him. 
He was eighteen, only three years older than you are, Raoul, 
when I saw him at this work pitted against tried men." 

" And was Monsieur D'Artagnan the conqueror?" said the 
young man, with glistening eyes. 

" I killed one man, I believe," replied D'Artagnan, with a 
look of inquiry directed to Athos; "another I disarmed, or 
wounded. I don't remember which " 

"Wounded," said Athos; "oh! you were a strong one." 

The young man would willingly have prolonged this con 
versation all night, but Athos pointed out to him that his 
guest must need repose. D'Artagnan would fain have de- 



88 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

clared that he was not fatigued; but Athos insisted on his 
retiring to his chamber, conducted thither by Raoul. 



CHAPTER XV. 

ATHOS AS A DIPLOMATIST. 

D'ARTAGNAN retired to bed not to sleep, but to think 
over all that he had heard that evening. As he was good- 
hearted, and had once had for Athos a liking, which had 
grown into a sincere friendship, he was delighted at thus meet 
ing a man full of intelligence and of moral strength, instead 
of a wretched drunkard. He admitted, without annoyance, the 
continued superiority of Athos over himself, devoid as he was 
of that jealousy which might have saddened a less generous 
disposition: he was delighted also that the high qualities of 
Athos appeared to promise favorably for his mission. 
Nevertheless, it seemed to him that Athos was not, in all re 
spects, sincere and frank. Who was the youth whom he had 
adopted, and bore so great a resemblance to him? What could 
explain Athos' having re-entered the world, and the extreme 
sobriety which he had observed at table? The absence of 
Grimaud, whose name had never once been uttered by Athos, 
gave D'Artagnan uneasiness. It was evident either that he 
no longer possessed the confidence of his friend, or that Athos 
was bound by some invisible chain, or that he had been for- 
warned of the lieutenant's visit. 

He could not help thinking of M. Rochefort, whom he had 
seen in Notre Dame; could De Rochefort have preceded him 
with Athos? Again, the moderate fortune which Athos 
possessed, concealed, as it was, so skillfully, seemed to show 
a regard for appearances, and to betray a latent ambition, 
which might be easily aroused. The clear and vigorous intel 
lect of Athos would render him more open to conviction than 
a less able man would be. He would enter into the minister's 
schemes with the more ardor because his natural activity 
would be doubled by a dose of necessity. 

Resolved to seek an explanation on all these points on the 
following day, D'Artagnan, in spite of his fatigue, prepared 
for an attack, and determined that it should take place after 
breakfast. He determined to cultivate the good will of the 
youth Raoul, and, either while fencing with him, or in shoot 
ing, to extract from his- simplicity some information which 
would connect the Athos of old times with the Athos of the 



TWENTY TEARS AFTE*. 89 

present. But D'Artagnan, at the same time, being a man of 
extreme caution, was quite aware what injury he should do 
himself, if, by any indiscretion or awkwardness, he should be 
tray his maneuvering to the experienced eye of Athos. 
Besides, to say the truth, while l)'Artagnan was quite dis 
posed to adopt a subtle course against the cunning of Aramis, 
or the vanity of Porthos, he was ashamed to equivocate with 
Athos, the true-hearted, open Athos. It seemed to him that 
if Porthos and Aramis deemed him superior to them in the 
arts of diplomacy, they would like him all the better for it, 
but that Athos, on the contrary, would despise him. 

"Ah! why is not Grimaud, the taciturn Grimaud, here?" 
thought D'Artagnan; " there are things which his silence 
would have shown me his silence was eloquence!" 

There was now a perfect stillness in the house. D'Artagnan 
had heard the doors shut, and the shutters barred; then the 
dogs became, in their turn, silent. At last, a nightingale, 
lost in' a thicket of shrubs, had dropped off in the midst of 
its most melodious cadences, and fallen asleep. Not a single 
sound was heard in the castle, except that of a footstep, up 
and down in the chamber above as he supposed, the bed 
room of Athos. 

" He is walking about, and thinking," thought D'Artagnan, 
" but of what? It is impossible to know; everything else 
might be guessed, but not that." 

At length Athos went to bed, apparently, for the noise 
ceased. 

Silence, and fatigue together, overcame D'Artagnan, and 
sleep overtook him also. He was not, however, a good 
sleeper. Scarcely had dawn gilded his window-curtains, 
than he sprung out of bed, and opened the windows. Some 
body, he perceived, was in the courtyard, but moving 
stealthily. True to his custom of never passing anything 
over that it was within his power to know, D'Artagnan looked 
out of the window, and perceived the close red coat and brown 
hair of Raoul. 

The young man was opening the door of the stable. He 
then, with noiseless haste, took out the horse that he had 
ridden on the previous evening, saddled and bridled it him 
self, and led the animal into the alley to the right of the 
kitchen-garden, opened a side-door which conducted him to a 
bridle-road, shut it after him, and D'Artagnan saw him pass 
by like a dart, bending, as he went, beneath pendant flowery 
branches of the maple trees and acacias. The road, as 
D'Artagnan had observed, was the way to Blois. 



90 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"So!" thought the Gascon, "here's a young blade who 
has already his love affair, who doesn't at all agree with 
Athos iu his hatred to the fair sex. He's not going to hunt, 
for he has neither dogs nor arms; he's not going on a message, 
for he goes secretly. Why does he go in secret? Is he 
afraid of me, or of his father? for I am sure the count is his 
father. By Jove! I shall know about that soon, for I shall 
speak out to Athos." 

Day was now advanced: all the noises that had ceased the 
night before were reawakened, one after the other. The 
bird in the branches, the dog in his kennel, the sheep in the 
field, the boats which were moored in the Loire, even, seemed 
to be animated, and, leaving the shore, to abandon themselves 
to the current of the stream. The Gascon gave a last twist 
to his mustache, a last turn to his hair, brushed, from habit, 
the brim of his hat with the sleeve of his doublet, and went 
downstairs. Scarcely had he descended the last step of the 
threshold than he saw Athos, bent down toward the ground, 
as if he were looking for a crown-piece in the dust. 

" Good-morning, my dear host," cried D'Artagnan. 

" Good-day to you; have you slept well?" 

" Excellently well, Athos; but what are you looking for? 
you are, perhaps, a tulip fancier?" 

" My dear friend, if I were, you should not laugh at me 
for being so. In the country, people alter; one gets to like, 
without knowing it, all those beautiful objects that God 
causes to spring from the bottom of the earth, and which are 
despised in cities. I was looking anxiously for some iris 
roots which I planted here, close to this reservoir, and which 
some one has trampled upon this morning. These gardeners 
are the most careless people in the world: in bringing the 
horse out of the water, they've allowed him to walk over the 
border." 

D'Artagnan began to smile. 

"Ah! you think so, do you?" 

And he took his friend along the alley, where a number of 
tracks, like those which had trampled down the flower-beds, 
were visible. 

" Here are the horse's hoofs again, it seems, Athos," he 
said carelessly. 

" Yes, indeed; the marks are recent." 

" Quite so," replied the lieutenant. 

" Who went out this morning?" Athos asked uneasily. 
" Has any horse got loose from the stable!" 

" Not likely," answered the Gascon; " these marks are 
regular." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 91 

"Where is Raoul?" asked Athos; "how is it that I have 
not seen him?" 

" Hush!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, putting his finger on his 
lips; and he related what he had seen, watching Athos all the 
while. 

"Ah! he's gone to Blois; the poor boy " 

" To do what?" 

" Ah! to inquire after little La Vallie're; she has sprained 
her foot, you know." 

" You think he is?" 

"I am sure of it," said Athos; "don't you see that Raoul 
is in love?" 

" Indeed! with whom? with a child of seven years old?" 

" Dear friend, at Raoul's age the heart is so ardent that it 
must expand toward some object or another, fancied or real; 
well, his love is half one half the other. She is the prettiest 
little creature in the world, with flaxen hair, blue eyes at 
once saucy and languishing." 

" But what say you to Raoul's fancy?" 

"Nothing; I laugh at Raoul; but this first desire of the 
heart is imperious. I remember, just at his age, how in love 
I was with a Grecian statue, which our good king, then 
Henry IV., gave my father, insomuch that I was mad with 
grief when they told me that the story of Pygmalion was 
nothing but a fable." 

" 'Tis want of occupation; you do not make Raoul work, so 
he takes his own way of employing himself." 

" Exactly so; therefore I think of sending him away from 
this place." 

" You will be wise to do so." 

" No doubt of it; but it will break his heart. So long as 
three or four years ago, he used to adorn and adore his little 
idol, whom he will some day fall in love with in good earnest, 
if he remains here. The parents of little La Valliere have 
for a long time perceived, and been amused at it; but now 
they begin to look grave about it." 

"Nonsense! however, Raoul must be diverted from this 
fancy; send him away, or you will never make a man of 
him." 

" I think I shall send him to Paris." 

" So!" thought D'Artagnan; and it seemed to him that the 
moment for attack had arrived. 

" Suppose," he said, " we chalk out a career for this young 
man. I want to consult you about something." 

"Do so." 



92 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Do yon think it is time to enter into the service?" 

"But are you not still in the service? you D'Artagnan?" 

" I mean into active service. Our former life has it still 
no attractions for you? should you not be happy to begin 
anew in my society, and in that of Porthos, the exploits of 
our youth?" 

" Do you propose to me to do so, D'Artagnan?" 

" Decidedly and honestly." 

" On whose side?" asked Athos, fixing his clear benevolent 
glance on the countenance of the Gascon. 

" Ah! devil take it, you speak in earnest " 

"And must have a definite answer. Listen, D'Artagnan. 
There is but one person or rather, one cause to whom a 
man like me can be useful that of the king." 

" Exactly," answered the musketeer. 

"Yes, but let us understand each other," returned Athos 
seriously. " If by the cause of the king you mean that of 
Monsieur de Mazarin, we do not understand each other." 

" I don't say, exactly," answered the Gascon, confused. 

" Come, D'Artagnan, don't let us play a cunning game; 
your hesitation, your evasion, tell me at once on whose side 
you are; for that party no one dares openly to recruit, and 
when people recruit for it, it is with a downcast head and low 
voice." 

" Ah, my dear Athos!" 

"You know that I am not alluding to yon; you are the 
pearl of brave and bold men. I speak of that spiteful and in 
triguing Italian of the pedant who has tried to put on his 
own head a crown which he stole from under a pillow of the 
scoundrel who calls his party the party of the king who 
wants to send the princes of the blood to prison, not daring 
to kill them, as our great cardinal our cardinal did of the 
miser who weighs his gold pieces, and keeps the clipped ones 
for fear, though he is rich, of losing them at play next 
morning of the impudent fellow who insults the queen, as 
they say so much the worse for her and who is going, in 
three months, to make war upon us, in order that he may 
retain his pensions is that the master whom you propose to 
me? Thanks, D'Artagnan." 

" You are more impetuous than you were," returned 
D'Artagnan. "Age has warmed, not chilled your blood. 
Who told you that that was the master I proposed to you? 
Devil take it," he muttered to himself, " don't let me betray 
my secrets to a man not inclined to receive them well." 

" Well, then," said Athos, " what are your schemes? what 
do you propose?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 93 

"Zounds! nothing can be more natural; you live on your 
estate, happy in your golden mediocrity. Porthos has, per 
haps, sixty thousand francs income. Aramis has always tifty 
duchesses who are quarreling for the priest, as they quarreled 
formerly for the musketeer; but I what have I in the world? 
I have worn my cuirass for these twenty years, kept down in 
this inferior rank, without going forwarder or backwarder, 
without living. In fact, I am dead. Well! when there .is 
some idea of being resuscitated you say he's a scoundrel an 
impudent fellow a miser a bad master! By Jove! Fin of 
your opinion; but find me a better one, or give me the means 
of living." 

Athos was for a few moments thoughtful. 

" Good! D'Artagnan is for Mazarin," he said to himself. 

From that moment he became very guarded. 

On his side D'Artagnan was more cautious also. 

"You spoke to me," Athos resumed, "of Porthos; have 
you persuaded him to seek his fortune? but he has wealth, I 
believe, already?" 

" Doubtless he has; but such is man, that he always wants 
something." 

" What does Porthos wish for?" 

" To be a baron." 

"Ah! true! I forgot," said Athos, laughing. 

"'Tis true!" thought the Gascon, " where has he heard it? 
Does he correspond with Aramis? Ah! if I knew that he did, 
I should know all." 

The conversation \vas interrupted by the entrance of Raoul. 

" Is our little neighbor worse?" asked Athos, seeing a look 
of vexation on the face of the youth. 

"Ah, sir!" replied Raoul, "her fall is a very serious one; 
and without any apparent injury, the physician fears that she 
will be lame for life." 

" That is terrible," said Athos. 

" And what makes me wretched, sir, is that I am the cause 
of this misfortune." 

" There's only one remedy, dear Raoul that is, to marry 
her as a compensation," remarked D'Artagnau. 

"Ah, sir!" answered Raoul, "you joke about a real mis 
fortune; that is cruel, indeed." 

The good understanding between the two friends was not 
in the least altered by the morning's skirmish. They break 
fasted with a good appetite, looking now and then at poor 
Raoul, who, with moist eyes and a full heart, scarcely ate 
at all. 



i4 TWENTY YEAE3 AFTER. 

After breakfast two letters arrived for Athos, who read 
them with deep attention; while D'Artagnan could not re 
strain himself from jumping up several times, on seeing him 
read these epistles, in one of which, having a very strong 
light, he perceived the fine writing of Aramis. The other 
was in a feminine hand, long and crossed. 

" Oome," said D'Artagnan to Raoul seeing that Athos 
wished to be alone " come, let us take a turn in the fencing- 
gallery; that will amuse you." 

And they both went into a low room, where there were 
foils, gloves, masques, breast-plates, and all the accessories 
for a fencing match. 

In a quarter of an hour Athos joined them; and, at the same 
moment, Charles brought in a letter for D'Artaguan, which a 
messenger had just desired might be instantly delivered. 

It was now the turn of Athos to take a sly look. 

D'Artagnan read the letter with apparent calmness, and 
said, shaking his head 

" See, dear friend, what the army is; my faith, you are, in 
deed, right not to return to it. Monsieur de Treville is ill 
so my company can't do without me; there! my leave is at un 
end!" 

" Do you go back to Paris?" asked Athos quickly. 

" Egad! yes; but why don't you come there also?" 

Athos colored a little, and answered: 

" Should I go, I shall be delighted to see you there." 

" Halloo, Planchet!" cried the Gascon from the door, " we 
must set out in ten minutes; give the horses some hay." 

Then turning to Athos, he added: 

" I seem to miss something here. I am really sorry to go 
away without having seen Grimaud." 

" Grimaud !" replied Athos. " I'm surprised you have 
never asked after him. I have lent him to a friend " 

" Who will understand the signs he makes/' returned 
D'Artagnan. 

" I hope so." 

The friends embraced cordially ; D'Artagnan pressed 
Kao ul's hand. 

" Will you not come with me?" he said; " I shall pass by 
Blois." 

Raoul turned toward Athos, who showed him by a secret 
sign that he did not wish him to go. 

" Adieu, then, to both, my good friends," said D'Artagnan; 
"may God preserve you! as we used to say when we said good- 
by to each other in the late cardinal's time." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 95 

Athos waved his hand, Kaoul bowed, and D'Artagnan and 
Planchet set out. 

The count followed them with his eyes his hands resting 
on the shoulders of the youth, whose height was almost equal 
to his own; but,<as soon as they were out of sight, he said: 

" Raoul we set out to-night for Paris." 

" How!" cried the young man, turning pale. 

" You may go and offer your adieux and mine to Madame 
de Saint-Remy. I shall wait for you here till seven." 

The young man bent low, with an expression of sorrow 
and gratitude mingled, and retired, in order to saddle his 
horse. 

As to D'Artaguan, scarcely, on his side, was he out of 
eight, than he drew from his pocket a letter, which he read 
over again. 

" Return immediately to Paris. T. M." 

" The epistle is laconic," said D'Artagnan; "and if there 
had not been a postscript, probably I should not have under 
stood it; but, happily, there is a postscript." 

And he read that famous postscript, which made him for 
get the adruptness of the letter. 

"P. S. Go to the king's treasurer at Blois; tell him your 
name, and show him this letter, you will receive two hundred 
pistoles." 

"Assuredly/' 1 said D'Artagnan; "I like this piece of 
prose, and the cardinal writes better than I thought. Come, 
Planchet, let us pay a visit to the king's treasurer, and then 
set off." 

"Toward Paris, sir?" 

" Toward Paris." 

And both set out on as hard a trot as their horses 
could go. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE DUG DE BEAUFORT. 

THE circumstances which had hastened the return of 
D'Artagnan to Paris were the following: 

One evening, when Mazarin, according to custom, went to 
visit the queen, in passing the guard-chamber he heard loud 
voices there; wishing to know on what the soldiers were con 
versing, he approached, with his wonted stealthy and wolf- 
like step pushed open the door, and put his head close to 
the chink. 



96 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

There was a dispute among the guards. 

" I tell you/' one of them was saying, "that if Coyeel pre 
dicted that, 'tis as good as true; I know nothing about it, 
but I've heard say that he's not only an astrologer, but & 
magician." 

" Deuce take it, friend if he's one of thy friends, thou 
wilt ruin him in saying so." 

"Why?" 

" Because he may be tried for it." 

" Ah! absurd! they don't burn sorcerers nowadays." 

"No? 'Tis not a long time since the late cardinal burnt 
Urban Grandier though." 

" My friend, Urban Grandier wasn't a sorcerer; he was a 
learned man. He didn't predict the future; he knew the 
past often a much worse thing." 

Mazarin nodded an assent; but wishing to know what the 
prediction was about which they disputed, he remained in the 
same place. 

" I don't say," resumed the guard, "that Coysel is not a 
sorcerer but I say that if his prophecy gets wind, it's a sure 
way to prevent its coming true." 

" How so?" 

" Why, in this way if Coysel says, loud enough for the 
cardinal to hear him, on such or such a day such a prisoner 
will escape, 'tis plain that the cardinal will take measures of 
precaution, and that the prisoner will not escape." 

"Good Lord!" said another guard, who appeared asleep on 
a bench, but who had not lost a syllable of the conversation, 
" do you suppose that men can escape their destiny? If it 
is written yonder, in heaven, that the Due de Beaufort is to 
escape, he will escape; and all the precautions of the cardinal 
will not hinder it." 

Mazarin started. He was an Italian, and therefore super 
stitious. He walked straight into the midst of the guards, 
who, on seeing him, were silent. 

" What were you saying?" he asked, with his flattering 
manner, " that Monsieur de Beaufort had escaped did you 
not?" 

"Oh, no, my lord!" said the incredulous soldier. "He's 
well guarded now; we said, only, that he would escape." 

"Who said so?" 

"Repeat your story, Saint Laurent," replied the man, 
turning to the originator of the tale. 

" My lord," said the guard, " I have simply mentioned the 
prophecy that I heard from a man named Coysel, who be- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 97 

lieves that be he ever so closely guarded, the Duke of Beau 
fort will escape before Whitsuntide/' 

" Coysel is a madman!" returned the cardinal. 

"No/' replied the soldier, tenacious in his credulity; "he 
has foretold many things that have come to pass for in 
stance, that the queen would have a son; that Monsieur de 
Coligny would be killed in a duel with the Due de Guise; and 
finally, that the coadjutor would be made cardinal. Well! 
the queen has not only one son, but two; then, Monsieur dt 
Coligny was killed, and " 

" Yes/' said Mazarin; " but the coadjutor is not yet made a 
cardinal." 

"No, my lord but he will be," answered the guard. 

Mazarin made a grimace, as if he meant to say " But he 
does not yet wear the cardinal's cap;" then he added: 

" So, my friend, it's your opinion that Monsieur de Beau 
fort will escape?" 

"That's my idea, my lord; and if your eminence were to 
offer to make me at this moment governor of the castle of 
Viucennes, I should refuse it. After Whitsuntide it would 
be another thing." 

There is nothing so convincing as a firm conviction. It 
has an effect upon the most incredulous; and, far from being 
incredulous, Mazarin was superstitious. He went away 
thoughtful and anxious, and returned to his own room, where 
he summoned Bernouin, and desired him to fetch there the 
next morning the special guard whom he had placed near 
Monsieur de Beaufort, and to awaken him whenever he 
should arrive on the following morning. 

The guard had, in fact, touched the cardinal in the 
tenderest point. During the whole five years in which the 
Due de Beaufort had been in prison, not a day had passed in 
which the cardinal had not felt a secret dread of his escape. 
It was not possible, as ho knew well, to confine for the whole 
of his life the grandson of Henry IV., especially when this 
young prince was scarcely thirty years of age. But, however 
and whensoever he did escape, what hatred he must have 
cherished against him to whom he owed his long imprison 
ment; who had taken him rich, brave, glorious, beloved by 
women, feared by men, to cast off from his life its happiest 
years; for it is not existence, it is merely life, in prison. 
Meantime, Mazarin redoubled the surveillance over the duke. 
But, like the miser in the fable, he could not sleep near his 
treasure. Often he awoke in the night, suddenly, dreaming 
that he had been robbed of Monsieur de Beaufort. Then he 
5 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



98 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

inquired about him, and had the vexation of hearing that tho 
prisoner played, drank, sang but that while playing, drink 
ing, singing, he often stopped short, to vow that Mazarin 
should pay dear for all the amusements which he had forced 
him to enter into at Vincennes. 

So much did this one idea haunt the cardinal, even in his 
sleep, that when, at seven in the morning, Bernouin came 
to arouse him, his first words were: "Well what's the 
matter? Has Monsieur de Beaufort escaped from Vincennes?" 

" I do not think so, my lord," said Bernouin: " but you will 
hear about him, for La Ramee is here, and awaits the com 
mands of your eminence." 

" Tell him to come in," said Mazarin, arranging his pillows, 
so that he might receive him sitting, in bed. 

The officer entered a large fat man, with a good physiog 
nomy. His air of perfect serenity made Mazarin uneasy. 

" Approach, sir," said the cardinal. 

The officer obeyed. 

" Do you know what they are saying here?" 

"No, your eminence." 

" Well, they say that Monsieur de Beaufort is going to 
escape from Vincennes, if he has not done so already." 

The officer's face expressed complete stupefaction. He 
opened, at once his great eyes and his little mouth, to inhale 
better the joke that his eminence deigned to address to him, 
and ended by a burst of laughter, so violent, that his great 
limbs shook in his hilarity as they would have done in a 
fever. 

" Escape! my lord escape! Your eminence does not then 
know where Monsieur de Beaafort is?" 

" Yes, I do, sir; in the donjon of Vincennes." 

" Yes, sir; in a room, the walls of which are seven feet 
thick, with grated windows, each bar being as thick as my 
arm." 

**' Sir," replied Mazarin, " with perseverance one may 
penetrate through a wall with a watch-spring one may saw 
through an iron bar." 

" Then my lord does not know that there are eight guards 
about him four in his chamber, four in the antechamber 
and they never leave him." 

" But he leaves the room, he plays at tennis at the Mall?" 

"Sir, those amusements are allowed; but if your eminence 
wishes it, we will discontinue the permission. "* 

"No, no," cried Mazarin, fearing that should his prisoner 
ever leave his prison he would be the more exasperated against 




'ON THE HONOR OF MAZARIN' 



Dumas, Vol. Thirteen 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 99 

him, if he thus retrenched his amusements he then asked 
with whom he played. 

" My lord either with the officers of the guard, with the 
other prisoners, or with me." 

"Hum," said the cardinal, beginning to feel mo:"" com 
fortable. " You mean to say, then, my dear Monsieur la 
Rumee " 

" That unless Monsieur de Beaufort can contrive to met 
amorphose himself into a little bird, 1 answer for him." 

" Take care you assert a great deal," said Mazaiin. " M. 
de Beaufort told the guards who took him to Vincennes, that he 
had often thought what he should do in case he were put 
into prison, and that he had found out forty ways of escap 
ing." 

" My lord if among these forty there had been 'one good 
way, he would have been out long ago." 

"Come, come; not such a fool as I fancied!" thought 
Mazarin. " But when you leave him, for instance?" 

" Oh! when 1 leave him! I have in my stead a bold fellow 
who aspires to be his majesty's special guard. I promise you, 
he keeps a good watch over the prisoner. During the three 
weeks that he has been with me, I have only had to reproach 
him with one thing being too severe with the prisoners." 
And who is this Cerberus?" 
A certain Monsieur Grimaud, my lord." 
And what was he before he went to Vincennes?" 
' He was in the country, as I was told by the person who 
recommended him to me." 

' And who recommended this man to you?" 
'The steward of the Due de Grammont." 
' He is not a gossip, I hope?" 

t( Lord a-mercy, my lord! I thought for a long time that 
he was dumb; he answers only by signs. It seems his former 
master accustomed him to that. The fact is, I fancy he got 
into some trouble in the country from his stupidity, and that 
he wouldn't be sorry in the royal livery to find impunity." 

" Well, dear Monsieur la Ramee," replied the cardinal, 
" let him prove a firm and faithful keeper, and we will shut 
our eyes upon his rural misdeeds, and put on his back a uni 
form to make him respectable, and in the pockets of that 
uniform some pistoles to drink to the king's health." 

Mazarin was large in his promises quite different to the 
virtuous Monsieur Grimaud, so be-praised by La Ram6e; for 
he said nothing, and did much. 

It was now nine o'clock. The cardinal, therefore, got up, 



100 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

perfumed himself, dressed, and went to the queen to tell her 
what had detained him. The queen, who was scarcely more 
afraid of Monsieur de Beaufort than she was of the cardinal 
himself, and who was almost as superstitious as he was, in ado 
hirn repeat word for word all La Ramee's praises of his dep 
uty. Then, when the cardinal had ended: 

" Alas! sir! why have we not a Grimaud near every prince?" 

" Patiencel" replied Mazarin, with his Italian smile; 
" that may happen one day ; but in the meantime " 

" Well! in the meantime?" 

" I shall take precautions." 

And he wrote to D'Artagnan to hasten his return. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

DESCRIBES HOW THE DUO DE BEAUFORT AMUSED HIS LEISURE 
HOURS IN THE DONJON OF VINCENNES. 

THE captive, who was the source of so much alarm to the 
cardinal, and whose means of escape disturbed the repose 
of the whole court, was wholly unconscious of the terrors 
which he caused in the Palais Royal. 

He had found himself so strictly guarded, that he soon 
perceived the fruitlessness of any attempt at escape. His 
vengeance, therefore, consisted in uttering curses on the head 
of Mazarin; he even tried to make some verses on him, but 
soon gave up the attempt. For Monsieur de Beaufort had 
not only not received from heaven the gift of versifying, but 
he had even the greatest possible difficulty in expressing him 
self in prose. 

The duke was the grandson of Henry IV. and of Gabrielle 
d'Estrees as good-natured, as brave, as proud, and, above 
all, as Gascon as his ancestor, but less educated. After having 
been for some time, after the death of Louis XIII., the favor 
ite, the confidant, the first man in short, at the court, he had 
been obliged to yield his place to Mazarin, and he became the 
second in influence and favor; and, eventually, as he was 
stupid enough to be vexed at this change of position, the 
queen had had him arrested, and sent to Vincennes, in charge 
of Guitant, who made his appearance in these pages in the 
beginning of this history, and whom we shall see again. By 
the queen, means by Mazarin. 

During the five years of his seclusion, which would have 
improved and matured the intellect of any other man, M. de 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 101 

Beaufort, had he not affected to brave the cardinal, to despise 
princes, and to walk alone, without adherents or disciples, 
would either have regained his liberty, or made partisans. 
But these considerations never occurred to the duke, and every 
day the cardinal received fresh accounts of him, which were 
as unpleasant as possible to the minister. 

After having failed in poetry, Monsieur de Beaufort tried 
drawing. He drew portraits with a piece of coal, of the car 
dinal; and as his talents did not enable him to produce a very 
good likeness, he wrote under the picture, that there might 
be no doubt of the original " Portrait of the Illustrious 
Coxcomb Mazarin." Monsieur de Chavigny, the governor of 
Vincennes, waited upon the duke, to request that he would 
amuse himself in some other way, or, that, at all events, if 
he drew likenesses, he would not put mottoes to them. The 
next day the prisoner's room was full of pictures and of mottoes. 
Monsieur de Beaufort, in common with many other prisoners, 
was bent upon doing things which were prohibited; and the 
only resource which the governor had was, one day when 
the duke was playing at tennis, to efface all these drawings, 
consisting chiefly of profiles. M. de Beaufort did not ven 
ture to draw the cardinal's fat face. 

The duke thanked Monsieur de Chavigny for having, as he 
said, cleaned his drawing paper for him; he then divided the 
walls of his room into compartments, and dedicated each of 
these compartments to some incident in Mazarin's life. In 
one was depicted the " Illustrious Coxcomb " receiving a 
shower of blows from Cardinal Bentivoglio, whose servant he 
had been; another the " Illustrious Mazarin," acting the 
part of Ignatius Loyola in a tragedy of that name; a third, 
the " Illustrious Mazarin " stealing the portfolo of prime 
minister from Monsieur de Chavigny,who had expected to have 
<t; a fourth, the " Illustrious Coxcomb Mazarin" refusing to 
give Laporte, the young king's valet, clean sheets; and say 
ing that it was quite enough for the king of France to have 
sheets every three months. 

The governor, of course, thought proper to threaten his 
prisoner that if hu did not give up drawing such pictures, he 
should be obliged to deprive him of all means of amusing 
himself in that manner. To this Monsieur de Beaufort re 
plied, that since every opportunity of distinguishing himself 
in arms was taken from him, he wished to make himself cele 
brated in the fine arts; since he could not be a Bayard, he 
would become a Eaphael, or a Michael Angelo. Nevertheless 
one day when Monsieur de Beaufort was walking in the 



102 TWENTY YEABS AFTEE. 

meadow, his fire was put out; his coal taken away, and all 
means of drawing completely destroyed. 

The poor duke swore, fell into a rage, yelled, and declared 
that they wished to starve him to death, as they had starved 
the Marechal Ornano, and the Grand Prior of Venddme; but 
he refused to promise that he would not make any more 
drawings, and remained without any fire in the room all the 
winter. 

His next act was to purchase a dog from one of his keep 
ers. With this animal, which he called Pistache, he was of ten 
shut up for hours alone, superintending, as every one sup 
posed, its education. At last, when Pistache was sufficiently 
well trained, Monsieur de Beaufort invited the governors and 
officers of Vincennes to attend a representation which he was 
going to have in his apartment. 

The party assembled; the room was lighted with wax- 
lights, and the prisoner, with a bit of plaster he had taken 
out of the wall of his room, had traced a long white line, rep 
resenting a cord, on the floor. Pistache on a signal from his 
master, placed himself on this line, raised himself on his hind 
paws, and holding in his front paws a wand with which 
clothes used to be beaten, he began to dance upon the line 
with as many contortions as a rope-dancer. Having been 
several times up and down it, he gave the wand back to his 
master, and began, without hesitation, to perform the same 
revolutions over again. 

The intelligent creature was received with loud applause. 

The first part of the entertainment being concluded, Pis 
tache was desired to say what o'clock it was; he was shown 
Monsieur de Chavigny's watch; it was then half-past six. 
The dog raised and dropped his paw six times; the seventh 
he let it remain upraised. Nothing could be better done; 
a sun-dial could not have shown the hour with greater 
precision. 

Then the question was put to him who was the best jailer 
in all the prisons of France? 

The dog performed three evolutions round the circle, and 
laid himself, with the deepest respect, at the feet of Monsieur 
de Chavigny, who at first seemed inclined to like the joke, 
and laughed loud; but a frown soon succeeded, and he bit 
his lips with vexation. 

Then the duke put to Pistache this difficult question: who 
was the greatest thief in the world? 

Pistache went again the round of the circle, but stopped at 
no one; and, at last, went to the door, and began to scratch 
and bark. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 103 

" See, gentlemen," said M. de Beaufort, " this wonderful 
animal, not finding here what I asked for, seeks it out of 
doors; you shall, however, have his answer. Pistache, my 
friend, come here. Is not the greatest thief in the world, 
Monsieur (the king's secretary) La Camus, who came to Paris 
with twenty francs in his pocket, and who now possesses six 
millions?" ' 

The dog shook his head. 

" Then is it not," resumed the duke, " the Superintendent 
Emery, who gave his son, when he was married, three 
hundred thousand francs and a house, compared to which 
the Tuileries are a heap of ruins and the Louvre a paltry 
building?" 

The dog again shook his head, as if to say "no." 

"Then," said the prisoner, "let's think who it can be. 
Can it be, can it possibly be, the illustrious coxcomb, Mazarin 
de Piscina, hey? 

Pistache made violent signs that it was, by raising and low 
ering his head eight or ten times successively. 

" Gentlemen, you see," said the duke to those present, who 
dared not even smile, "that it is the ' illustrious coxcomb ' 
who is the greatest thief in the world; at least, according to 
Pistache." 

" Let us go on to another of his exercises. 

"Gentlemen!" there was a profound silence in the room 
when the duke again addressed them " do you not remem 
ber that the Due de Guise taught all the dogs in Paris to 
jump for Mademoiselle de Pons, whom he styled, * the fairest 
of the fair.' Pistache is going to show you how superior he 
is to all other dogs. Monsieur de Chavigny, be so good as to 
lend me your cane. Now, Pistache, my dear, jump the 
height of this cane for Madame Montbazon." 

The dog found no difficulty in it, and jumped joyfully for 
Madame de Montbazon. 

"But," interposed M. de Chavigny, "it seems to me that 
Pistache is only doing what other dogs have done when they 
jumped for Mademoiselle de Pons." 

" Stop," said the duke; " Pistache, jump for the queen." 
And he raised his cane six inches higher. 

The dog sprang, and in spite of the height, jumped lightly 
over it. 

"And now," said the duke, raising it still six inches 
higher, "jump for the king." 

The dog obeyed, and jumped quickly over the cane. 

" Now, then," said the duke, and as he spoke, lowered the 



104 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

cane almost level with the ground; "Pistache, my friend > 
jump for the illustrious coxcomb, Mazariu de Piscina." 

The dog turned his back to the cane. 

"What," asked the duke, " what do you mean?" and he 
gave him the cane again, first making a semicircle from the 
head to the tail of Pistache. "Jump, then, Monsieur Pis 
tache." 

But Pistache, as at first, turned round on his legs, and 
stood with his back to the cane. 

Moneieur de Beaufort made the experiment a third time: 
but this time Pistaehe rushed furiously on the cane and broke 
it with his teeth. 

Monsieur de Beaufort took the pieces out of his mouth, 
and presented them with great formality to Monsieur de 
Chavigny, saying that for that evening the entertainment was 
ended, but in three months it should be repeated, when Pis 
tache would have learned some new tricks. 

Three days afterward Pistache was poisoned. 

Then the duke said openly that his dog had been killed by 
a drug with which they meant to poison him; and one day 
after dinner, he went to bed, calling out that he had pains in 
the stomach, and that Mazarin had poisoned him. 

This fresh impertinence reached the ears of the cardinal, 
and alarmed him much. The donjon of Vincennes was con 
sidered very unhealthy, and Madame de Kambouillet had said 
that the room in which the Marechal Ornano and the Grand 
Prior de Vendome had died was worth its weight in arsenic 
a bon-mot which had great success. So the prisoner was 
henceforth to eat nothing that was not previously tasted, and 
La Bamee was, in consequence, placed near him as taster. 

Every kind of revenge was practiced upon the duke by the 
governor, in return for the insults of the innocent Pistache. 
De Chavigny, who, according to report, was a son of Rich 
elieu's, and had -been a creature of the late cardinal's, under 
stood tyranny. He took from the duke all the steel knives 
and silver forks, and replaced them with silver knives and 
wooden forks, pretending that, as he had been informed 
that the duke was to pass all his life at Vincennes, 
he was afraid of the prisoner's attempting suicide. A 
fortnight afterward the duke, going to the tennis court, 
found two rows of trees about the size of his little finger 
planted by the roadside; he asked what they were for, 
and was told that they were to shade him from 
the sun on some future day. One morning the 
gardener went to him and told him, as if to please him, that 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 105 

he was going to plant a bed of asparagus for his use. Now, 
as every one knows, asparagus takes four years in coming to 
perfection, this civility infuriated Monsieur de Beaufort. 

At last his patience was exhausted. He assembled his 
keepers, and, notwithstanding his well-known difficulty of 
utterance, addressed them as follows: 

" Gentlemen! will you permit a grandson of Henry IV. to 
be overwhelmed with insults and ignominy? Odds fish! as 
my grandfather used to say I once reigned in Paris; do you 
know that? I had the king and monsieur the whole of one 
day in my care. The queen at that time liked me, and called 
me the most honest man in the kingdom. Gentlemen and 
citizens, set me free; I shall go to the Louvre, and strangle 
Mazarin. You shall be my body guard. I will make you all 
captains, with good pensions! Odds fish! on march for 
ward!" 

But, eloquent as he might be, the eloquence of the grandson 
of Henry IV. did not touch those hearts of stone; not one 
man stirred, so Monsieur de Beaufort was obliged to be sat 
isfied with calling them rascals, and cruel foes. 

Sometimes, when Monsieur de Chavigny paid him a visit, 
the duke used to ask him what he should think if he saw an 
army of Parisians, all fully armed, appear at Vincennes to 
deliver him from prison. 

" My lord," answered De Chavigny, with a low bow, "I 
have on the ramparts twenty pieces of artillery, and in my 
casemates thirty thousand guns. I should cannonade the 
troops as well as I could." 

" Yes but after you had fired off your thirty thousand 
guns, they would take the donjon; the donjon being taken, I 
should be obliged to let them hang you for which I should 
be very unhappy, certainly." 

And, in his turn, the duke bowed low to Monsieur de 
Chavigny. 

"For myself, on the other hand, my lord," returned 
the governor, " the first rebel that should pass the threshold 
of my postern doors, I should be obliged to kill you with 
my own hand, since you were confided peculiarly to my care, 
and as I am obliged to give you up dead or alive." 

And he bowed low again to his highness. 

These bitter and sweet pleasantries lasted ten minutes, or 
sometimes longer; but always finished thus: 

Monsieur de Chavigny, turning toward the door, used to 
call out: 

"Halloo! LaRameel" 



106 TWEXT'Y TEARS AFTER. 

La RamSe came into the room. 

" La Ramee, I recommend Monsieur le Dae to yon, 
particularly; treat him as a man of his rank and family 
ought to be treated; 'therefore never leave him alone an 
instant." 

La Ramee became therefore the duke's dinner guest, by 
compulsion his eternal keeper the shadow of his person; 
but La Ramee gay, frank, convivial, fond of play, a great 
hand at tennis had one defect in the duke's eyes he was 
incorruptible. 

One may be a jailer or a keeper, and at the same time a 
good father and husband. La Ramee adored his wife and 
children, whom now he could only catch a glimpse of from 
the top of the wall, when, in order to please him, they used 
to walk on the opposite side of the moat. 'Twas too brief an 
enjoyment, and La Rarnee felt that the gayety of heart which 
he had regarded as the cause of that health (of which it was, 
perhaps, rather the result) would not long survive such a mode 
of life. 

He accepted, therefore, with delight, an offer made to him 
by his friend the steward of the Due de Grammont, to give 
him a substitute; he also spoke of it to Monsieur de Chavigny, 
who promised that he would not oppose it in any way that 
is, if he approved of the person proposed. 

We consider it as useless to draw a physical or moral por 
trait of Grimaud: if as we hope our readers have not 
wholly forgotten the first part of this work, they must have 
preserved a clear idea of that estimable individual who is 
wholly unchanged except that he is twenty years older, an 
advance in life that has made him only more silent; although, 
since the alteration that had been working in himself, Athos 
had given Grimaud permission to speak. 

But Grimaud had for twelve or fifteen years preserved an 
habitual silence, and a habit of fifteen or twenty years' duration 
becomes a second nature. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

GRIMAUD BEGIISTS HIS FUNCTIONS. 

GRIMAUD thereupon presented himself with his smooth 
exterior at the donjon of Vincennes. Now Monsieur de 
Chavigny prided himself on his infallible penetration; for 
that which almost proved that he was the son of Richelieu 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 107 

was his everlasting pretension; he examined attentively the 
countenance of the applicant for place, and fancied that 
the contracted eyebrows, thin lips, hooked nose, and 
prominent cheek-bones of Grimaud, were favorable signs. 
He addressed about twelve words to him; Grimaud answered 
in four. 

" There's a promising fellow, and I have found out his 
merits/' said Monsieur de Chavigny. " Go," he added, " and 
make yourself agreeable to Monsieur la Ramee, and tell him 
that you suit me in all respects." 

Grimaud had every quality which could attract a man on 
duty who wishes to have a deputy. So, after a thousand 
questions which met with only a word in reply, La Ramee, 
fascinated by this sobriety in speech, rubbed his hands, and 
engaged Grimaud. 

" My orders?" asked Grimaud. 

" They are these: never to leave the prisoner alone; to 
keep away from him every sharp or piercing instrument 
and to prevent his conversing any length of time with the 
keepers." 

" Those are all?" asked Grimaud. 

" All, now," replied La Ramee. 

" Good," answered Grimaud; and he went right to the 
prisoner. 

The duke was in the act of combing his beard, which he 
had allowed to grow as well as his hair, in order to reproach 
Mu&dr-in with his wretched appearance and condition. But 
having, some days previously seen, from the top of the donjon, 
Madame de Montbazon pass in her carriage, and still cherish 
ing an affection for that beautiful woman, he did not wish to 
be to her what he wished to be to Mazarin; and, in the hope 
of seeing her again, had asked for a leaden comb, which was 
allowed him. The comb was to be a leaden one, because his 
beard, like that of most fair people, was rather red; he there 
fore dyed it when he combed it out. 

As Grimaud entered he saw this comb on the tea-table; he 
took it up, and, as he took it, he made a low bow. 

The duke looked at this strange figure with surprise. The 
figure put the comb in its pocket. 

"Ho! hey! what's that?*' cried the duke, "and who is 
this creature?" 

Grimaud did not answer, but bowed a second time. 

" Art thou dumb?" cried the duke. 

Grimaud made a sign that he was not. 

*' What art thou, then? Answer! I command thee!" said 
the duke. 



108 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"A keeper," replied Grimaud. 

"A keeper!" reiterated the duke; "there was nothing 
wanting in my collection except this gallows-bird. Halloo! 
La Ramee someone!" 

La Rarnee ran in haste to obey the call. 

" Who is this wretch who takes my comb and puts it in his 
pocket?" asked the duke. 

" One of your guards, my prince a man full of talent and 
merit whom you will like, as I and Monsieur de Chavigny 
do, I am sure." 

" Why does he take my comb?" 

"Why do you take my lord's comb?" asked Ramee. 

Grimaud drew the comb from his pocket, and passing his 
fingers over the largest teeth, pronounced this one word 
" Piercing." 

" True/' said La Ramee. 

" What does the animal say?" asked the duke. 

" That the king has forbidden your lordship to have any 
piercing instrument." 

" Are you mad, La Ram6e? you yourself gave me this 
comb." 

" I was very wrong, my lord; for in giving it to you I acted 
in opposition to my orders." The duke looked furiously at 
Grimaud. 

"I perceive that that creature will become odious to me," 
he muttered. 

Grimaud, nevertheless, was resolved, for certain reasons, 
not at once to come to a full rupture with the prisoner; he 
wanted to inspire, not a sudden repugnance, but a good, and 
sound, and steady hatred; he retired, therefore, and gave 
place to four guards who, having breakfasted, could attend on 
the prisoner. 

A fresh practical joke had now occurred to the duke. He 
had asked for crawfish for his breakfast on the following 
morning: he intended to pass the day in making a small gal 
lows, and hang one of the finest of these fish in the middle 
of his room the red colors evidently conveying an allusion 
to the cardinal so that he might have the pleasure of hang 
ing Mazarin in effigy, without being accused of having hung 
anything except a crawfish. 

The day was employed in preparations for the execution. 
Every one grows childish in prison; but the character of 
Monsieur de Beaufort was particularly disposed to become so. 
In the course of his morning's walk he collected two or three 
small branches from a tree, and found a small piece of broken 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 109 

gfass, a discovery which delighted him. When he came home 
he formed his handkerchief into a loop. 

Nothing of all this escaped G-rimaud, but La Ramee looked 
on with the curiosity of a father who thinks that he may 
perhaps get an idea of a new toy for his children; the guards 
regarded it all with indifference. When everything was 
ready the gallows hung in the middle of the room the 
loop made and when the duke had cast a glance upon the 
plate of crawfish, in order to select the finest specimen 
among them, he looked round for his piece of glass it had 
disappeared. 

" Who has taken my piece of glass?" asked the duke, 
frowning. 

Grimaud made a sign to denote that he had done so. 

"How! thon, again! Why didst thou take it?" 

"Yes why?" asked La Ram6e. 

Grimaud, who held the piece of glass in his hand, said: 

" Sharp." 

" True, my lord!" exclaimed La Ramee. " Ah, deuce take 
it! we have got a precious lad." 

" Monsieur Grimaud I" said the duke, "for your sake, I 
beg of you, never come within the reach of my fist!" 

"Hush! hush!" cried La Ramee, "give me your gibbet, 
my lord, I will shape it out for you with my knife." 

And he took the gibbet and shaped it out as neatly as 
possible. 

" That's it," said the duke; " now make me a little hole in 
the floor while I go and fetch the culprit." 

La Ramee knelt down and made a hole in the floor; mean 
while the duke hung the crawfish up by a thread. Then he 
placed the gibbet in the middle of the room, bursting with 
laughter. 

La Ramee laughed also, and the guards laughed hi chorus; 
Grimaud, however, did not even smile. He approached La 
Ram6e, and showing him the crawfish, hung up by the 
thread : 

" Cardinal!" he said. 

" Hung by his highness the Due de Beaufort!" cried the 
prisoner, laughing violently, " and by Master Jacques 
Chrysostom La Ramee, the king's commissioner." 

La Ramee uttered a cry of horror, and rushed toward the 
gibbet, which he broke at once, and threw the pieces out of 
the window. He was going to throw the crawfish out also, 
when Grimaud snatched it from his hands. 

" Good to eat!" he said; and he put it into his pocket. 



110 TWENTY YEAES AFTER. 

This scene so enchanted the duke that, at the moment, he 
forgave Grimaud for his part in it; but on reflection, he 
hated him more and more, being convinced that he had some 
bad motive for his conduct. 

The prisoner happened to remark among the guards one 
man, with a very good countenance; and he favored this man 
the more as Grimaud became the more and more odious to 
him. One morning he took this man on one side and had 
succeeded in speaking to him, when Grimaud entered, saw 
what was going on, approached the duke respectfully, but 
took the guard by the arm. 

" Go away," he said. 

The guard obeyed. 

" You are insupportable," cried the duke: "I shall beat 
you." 

Grimaud bowed. 

" I shall break every bone in your body/' cried the duke. 

Grimaud bowed, and stepped back. 

"Mr. Spy," cried the duke, more and more enraged, "I 
shall strangle you with my own hands." 

And he extended his hands toward Grimaud, who merely 
thrust the guard out, and shut the door behind him. At the 
same time he felt the duke's arms on his shoulders, like two 
iron claws; but instead either of calling out or defending him 
self, he placed his forefinger on his lips, and said, in a low 
tone: 

"Hush!" smiling as he uttered the word. 

A gesture, a smile, and a word from Grimaud, all at once, 
were so unusual, that his highness stopped short, astounded. 

Grimaud took advantage of that instant to draw from his 
vest a charming little note, with an aristocratic seal, and 
presented it to the duke without a word. 

The duke, more and more bewildered, let Grimaud loose, 
and took the note. 

"From Madame de Montbazon!" he cried. 

Grimaud nodded assent. 

The duke tore open the note, passed his hands over his 
eyes, for he was dazzled and confused, and read: 

"MY DEAR DUKE: You may entirely confide on the brave 
lad who will give you this note; he has consented to enter 
into the service of your keeper, and to shut himself up at 
Vinceunes with you, in order to prepare and assist your 
escape, which we are contriving. The moment of your 
deliverance is at hand; have patience iiid courage, and 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. HI 

remember that, in spite of time and absence, all your friends 
continue to cherish for you the sentiments that they have pro 
fessed. Yours wholly, and most affectionately, 

" MARIE DE MONTBAZON." 

" P.S. I sign my full name, for I should be vain if I could 
suppose that after five years of absence you would remember 
my initials/' 

The poor duke became perfectly giddy. What for five years 
he had been wanting a faithful servant a friend a helping 
hand seemed to have fallen from heaven just when he 
expected it the least. 

"Oh, dearest Marie! she thinks of me, then, after five 
years of separation! Heavens! there is constancy V Then 
turning to Grimaud he said: 

" And thou, my brave fellow., thou consentest then to aid 
me?" 

Grimaud signified his assent. 

"What then shall we do? how proceed?" 

" It is new eleven," answered Grimaud. " Let my lord at 
two o'clock ask leave to make up a game at tennis, with La 
Ramee, and let him send two or three balls over the ram 
parts." 

" And then?" 

" Your highness will approach the walls and call out to a 
man who works in the moat to send them back again." 

" I understand," said the duke. 

Grimaud made a sign that he was going away. 

"Ah!" cried the duke, "will you not accept any money 
from me?" 

"I wish my lord would make me one promise." 

"What? speak!" 

" 'Tis this when we escape together, that I shall go every 
where, and be always first; for if my lord should be overtaken 
and caught, there's every chance of his being brought back ta 
prison, whereas, if I'm caught, the least that can befall me 
is to be hung." 

"True; on my honor as a gentleman, it shall be as thou 
dost suggest." 

" Now," resumed Grimaud, " I've only one thing more to 
ask, that your highness will continue to detest me. 

" I shall try," said the duke. 

At this moment La Ramee, after the interview which we 
have described with the cardinal, entered the room. The 
duke had thrown himself as he was wont to do in moments 



112 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

of dullness and vexation on his bed. La Ramee cast an in 
quiring look around him. 

" Well, my lord," said La Rainee, with his rude laugh; 
"you still set yourself against this poor fellow?" 

" So 'tis you, La Ram6e; in faith 'tis time you came back 
again. I threw myself on the bed, and turned my nose to 
the wall that I mightn't break my promise and strangle Gri- 
maud. I feel stupid beyond everything to-day." 

" Then let us have a match in the tennis-court," exclaimed 
La Ramee. 

" If you wish it." 

" I am at your service, my lord." 

" I protest, my dear La Ramee," said the duke, " that you 
are a charming person, and that I would stay forever at Vin- 
cennes, to have the pleasure of your society." 

" My lord," replied La Ram6e, " I think if it depended on 
the cardinal, your wishes would be fulfilled." 

" How?" 

" He sent for me to-day; in short, my lord, you are his 
nightmare." 

The duke smiled with bitterness. 

" Ah, La Ramee! if you would but accept my offers, I would 
make your fortune." 

" How? you would no sooner have left prison than your 
goods would be confiscated." 

" I shall no sooner be out of prison than I shall be master 
of Paris." 

"Pshaw! pshaw! I cannot hear such things said as that; 
I see, my lord, I shall be obliged to fetch Grimaud." 

" Well, then, let us go and have a game at tennis, La 
Ramee." 

" My lord I beg your highness' pardon but I must beg 
for half an hour's leave of absence." 

" Why?" 

"Because Monseigneur Mazarin is a prouder man than your 
highness, though not of such high birth; he forgot to ask 
me to breakfast."' 

" Well, shall I send for some breakfast here?" 

"No, my lord; I must tell you that the confectioner 
who lived opposite the castle Father Marteau, as they called 
him " 

"Well?" 

" Well, he sold hie business a week ago to a confectioner 
from Paris an invalid, ordered country air for his health." 

" Well, what have I to do with that?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 113 

" Why, good lord! this man, your highness, when he saw 
me stop before his shop, where he has a display of things 
which would make your mouth water, my lord, asked me to 
get him the custom of the prisoners in the donjon. * I 
bought,' says he, ' the business of my predecessor, on the 
strength of his assurance that he supplied the castle; whereas, 
on my honor, Monsieur de Chavigny, though I've been 
here a week, has not ordered so much as a tartlet.' So, my 
lord, I am going to try his pates; and, as I am fasting, you 

understand, I would, with your highness' leave " And 

La Ram6e bent low. 

" Go, then, animal," said the duke; " but remember, I 
only allow you half an hour." 

" May I promise your custom to the successor of Father 
Marteau, my lord!" 

" Yes if he does not put mushrooms in his pies thou 
knowest that mushrooms from the wood of Vincennes are 
fatal to my family." 

La Ramee went out, but in five minutes one of the 
officers of the guard entered, in compliance with the strict 
orders of the cardinal, that the prisoner should never be left 
one moment. 

But, during these five minutes, the duke had had time to 
read over again the note from Madame de Montbazon, which 
proved to the prisoner that his friends were concerting plans 
for his deliverance; but in what way he knew not. 

But his confidence in Grimaud, whose petty persecutions 
he now perceived were only a blind, increased, and he con 
ceived the highest opinion of his intellect, and resolved to 
trust entirely to his guidance. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

IN WHICH THE CONTENTS OF THE PATES MADE BY THE SUC 
CESSOR OF FATHER MARTEAU ARE DESCRIBED. 

IN HALF an hour La Ramee returned full of glee, like 
most men who have eaten, and more especially drunk, to 
their heart's content. The pates were excellent and the wine 
delicious. 

The weather was fine, and the game of tennis took place in 
the open air. 

At two o'clock the tennis balls began, according to Gri- 
maud's directions, to take the direction of the moat, much to 



114 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

the joy of La Ramee, who marked fifteen whenever the duke 
sent a ball into the moat; and very soon balls were wanting, 
so many had gone over. La Ram6e then proposed to send 
some one to pick them up. But the duke remarked that it 
would be losing time; and going near the rampart himself, 
and looking over, he saw a man working in one of the nu 
merous little gardens cleared out by peasants on the opposite 
side of the moat. 

" Hey, friend!" cried the duke. 

The man raised his head, and the duke was about to uttei 
a cry of surprise. The peasant, the gardener, was Rochefort, 
whom he believed to be in the Bastille. 

" Well! who's up there ?" said the man. 

" Be so good as to send us back our balls," said the duke. 

The gardener nodded, and began to throw up the balls, 
which were picked up by La Ramee and the guard. One 
however, fell at the duke's feet; and seeing that it was intended 
for him, he put it into his pocket. 

La Ramee was in ecstasies at having beaten a prince of the 
blood. 

The duke went indoors, and retired to bed, where he spent, 
indeed, the greater part of every day, as they had taken his 
books away. La Ram6e carried off all his clothes, in order 
to be certain that the duke would not stir. However, the duke 
contrived to hide the ball under his bolster, and as soon as the 
door was closed he tore off the cover of the ball with his teeth, 
and found underneath it the following letter: 

" MY LORD: Your friends watch over you, and the hour 
of your deliverance draws near. Ask to-morrow to have a 
pie made by the new confectioner opposite the castle, and 
who is no other than Noirmont, your former ' maitre d'hotel.' 
Do not open the pie till you are alone. I hope you will be 
satisfied with its contents. 

" Your highness' most devoted servant, 

" In the Bastille, as elsewhere, 

"CoMTEDE ROCHEFORT." 

The duke, who had latterly been allowed a fire, burned the 
letter, but kept the ball, and went to bed, hiding the ball 
under his bolster. La Ramee entered: he smiled kindly on the 
prisoner; for he was an excellent man who had taken a great 
liking for the captive prince. He endeavored to cheer him 
up in his solitude. 

" Ah, my friend!" cried the duke, "you are so good; if I 
could but go, as you do, and eat pates and drink Burgundy 
at the house of Father Marteau's successor!" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 115 

'"Tis true, my lord," answered La Ramee, " that his pat6s 
are famous, and his wine magnificent." 

" Good," said the duke to himself; " it seems that one 
of Master La Ramee's seven deadly sins is gluttony." 

Then aloud: 

" Well, my dear La Ramee! the day after to-morrow is a 
holiday." 

" Yes, my lord, Pentecost." 

" Will you give me a lesson the day after to-morrow?" 

" In what?" 

" In gastronomy." 

"Willingly, my lord." 

" But tete-a-tete. The guards shall go to sup in the can 
teen of Monsieur de Chavigny we'll have a supper here, 
under your direction." 

" Hum!" said La Ram6e. 

The duke watched the countenance of La Ramee with an 
anxious glance. 

" Well," he asked, " that will do? Will it not?" 

" Yes, my lord, on one condition." 

" What?" 

" That Grimaud should wait on us at table." 

Nothing could be more agreeable to the duke; however, he 
had presence of mind enough to exclaim: 

" Send your Grimaud to the devil! he'll spoil my feast. I 
see you distrust me." 

" My lord, the day after to-morrow is Pentecost." 

"Well! what of that?" 

" I have already told you what that magician had pre 
dicted." 

"And what was it?" 

" That the day of Pentecost would not pass without your 
highness being out of Vincennes." 

"You believe in sorcerers, then, you fool!" 

" I I care for them, that " and he snapped his fingers; 
" but it is my Lord Giulio who cares for them as an Italian, 
he is superstitious." 

The duke shrugged his shoulders. 

"Well, then," with a well-acted good humor, "I allow of 
Grimaud, but no one else you must manage it all. Order 
whatever you like for supper the only thing I specify is one 
of those pies; and tell the confectioner that I will promise him 
my custom if he excels this time in his pies not only now, 
but when I leave my prison." 

" Then you think you shall leave it?" said La Ramee. 



116 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" The devil!" replied the prince; "surely at the death of 
Mazarin. I am fifteen years younger than he is. At Vin- 
cennes, 'tis true, one lives faster- 



" My lord," replied La Ram6e, " my lord- 



" Or one dies sooner, so it comes to the same thing." 

La Ram6e was going out. He stopped, however, at the 
door for an instant. 

" Whom does your highness wish me to send to you?" 

" Any one, except Grnmaud." 

" The officer of the guard, then? with his chessboard?" 

" Yes." 

Five minutes afterward the officer entered, and the duke 
seemed to be immersed in the sublime combinations of 
chess. 

It was midnight before he went to sleep that evening, and 
he awoke at daybreak. Wild dreams had disturbed his repose. 
He dreamed that he had been gifted with wings he wished 
to fly away. For a time these wings had supported him; but, 
when he had reached a certain height, this new aid had failed 
him. His wings were broken, and he seemed to sink into a 
bottomless abyss, whence he awoke, bathed in perspiration, 
and as much overcome as if he had really fallen. He fell 
asleep again, and another vision appeared. He was in a 
subterranean passage, by which he was to leave Vincennes. 
Grim and was walking before him with a lantern. By degrees 
the passage narrowed, yet the duke continued his course. 
At last it became so narrow that the fugitive tried in vain to 
proceed. The sides of the walls seemed to close in, and to 
press against him. He made fruitless efforts to go on; it 
was impossible. Nevertheless, he still saw Grimaud, with 
his lantern in front, advancing. He wished to call out to 
him, but could not utter a word. Then, at the other extrem 
ity, he heard the footsteps of those who were pursuing him. 
These steps came on they came fast. He was discovered 
all hopes of flight were gone. Still the walls seemed to be 
closing on him; they appeared to be in concert with his 
enemies. At last he heard the voice of LaRamee. La Ramee 
took his hand, and laughed loud. He was captured again, 
and conducted to the low and vaulted chamber, in which 
Ornano, Puylaurens, and his uncle had died. Their three 
graves were there, rising above the ground, and a third was 
fclso there yawning to receive a corpse. 

The duke was obliged to make as many efforts to awaken 
as he had done to go to sleep; and La Ramee found him so 
pale and fatigued that he inquired whether he was ill. 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 117 

" What is the matter with your highness?" he asked. 

" 'Tis thy fault, thou simpleton," answered the duke. 
"With your idle nonsense yesterday, about escaping, you 
worried me so, that I dreamed that I was trying to escape, 
and broke my neck in doing so." 

La RarnSe laughed. 

se Come," he said, "'tis a warning from heaven. Never 
commit such an imprudence as to try to escape, except in 
your dreams. Listen! your supper is ordered." 

"Ah! and what is it to be? Monsieur, my major-domo, 
will there be a pie?" 

" I think so indeed; as high as a tower." 

" You told him it was for me?" 

" Yes; and he said he would do his best to please your 
highness." 

" Good!" exclaimed the duke, rubbing his hands. 

"Devil take it, my lord! what a gourmand you are 
becoming. I haven't seen you with so cheerful a face these 
five years." 

At this moment Grimaud entered, and signified to La 
Kam6e that he had something to say to him. 

The duke instantly recovered his composure. 

" I forbade that man to come here," he said. 

" 'Tis my fault," replied La Ramee; " but he must stay 
here while I go to see Monsieur de Chavigny, who has some 
orders to give me." 

And La Ramee went out. Grimaud looked after him, and 
when the door was closed, he drew out of his pocket a pencil 
and a sheet of paper. 

" Write, my lord," he said. 

'' And what?" 

Grimaud dictated. 

" All is ready for to-morrow evening. Keep watch from 
seven till nine o'clock. Have two riding-horses quite ready. 
We shall descend by the first window in the gallery." 

" What next?" 

" Sign your name, my lord." 

The duke signed. 

" Now, my lord, give me, if you have not lost it, the ball 
that which contained the letter." 

The duke took it from under his pillow, and gave it to 
Grimaud. Grimaud gave a grim smile. 

"Now," said the duke, "tell me what this famous raised 
pie is to contain." 



118 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Two poniards, a knotted rope, and a poire d'angoisse."* 

" Yes, I understand we shall take to ourselves the pon 
iards and the rope," replied the duke. 

" And make La Ramee eat the pear/' answered Grimaud. 

" My dear Grimaud, thou speakest seldom, but when thou 
dost speak, one must do thee justice thy words are of gold." 



CHAPTER XX. 

ONE OF MARIE MICHON'S ADVENTURES. 

WHILE these projects where being formed by the Due de 
Beaufort and Grimaud, the Comte de la F6re and the Vicomte 
de Bragelonne were entering Paris by the Rue du Faubourg 
Saint Marcel. 

They stopped at the sign of the Fox, in the Rue du Vieux 
Colombier, a tavern known for many years by Athos, and 
asked for two bedrooms. 

"You must dress yourself, Raoul," said Athos. " I am 
going to present you to some one. I wish you to look well, 
so arrange your dress vvitli care." 

"I hope, sir," replied the youth, smiling, "that there's no 
idea of a marriage for me; you know my engagement to 
Louise?" 

Athos, in his turn, smiled also. 

" No, don't be alarmed although it is to a lady that I am 
going to present you and I am anxious that you should love 
her " 

" What age is she?" inquired the Vicomte de Bragelonne. 

" My dear Raoul, learn once for all, that that is a question 
which is never asked. When you can find out a woman's age 
by her face it is useless to ask it; when you cannot do so it is 
indiscreet." 

"Is she beautiful?" 

"During sixteen years she was deemed not only the 
prettiest but the most graceful woman in France." 

This reply reassured the vicomte. A woman who had been 
a reigning beauty for sixteen years could not be the subject of 
any scheme for him. He retired to his toilet. When he 
reappeared, Athos received him with the same paternal smile 

* This poire d'angoisse was a famous gag, in the form of a pear, 
which, being thrust into the mouth, by the aid of a spring dilated so as 
to distend the jaws to their greatest width. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 119 

as that which he had often bestowed on D'Artagnan bat a 
more profound tenderness for Raoul was now visibly impressed 
upon his face. 

Athos cast a glance at his feet, hands, and hair those 
three marks of race. The youth's dark hair was neatly parted, 
and hung in curls, forming a sort of dark frame round his 
face such was the fashion of the day. Gloves of gray kid, 
matching the hat, displayed the form of a slender and elegant 
hand; while his boots, similar in color to the hat and gloves, 
confined the feet, small as those of a child of ten years old. 

"Come," murmured Athos, "if she is not proud of him, 
she will be hard to please." 

It was three o'clock in the afternoon. The two travelers 
proceeded to the Rue St. Dominique, and stopped at the door 
of a magnificent hotel, surmounted with the arms of De 
Luynes. 

" 'Tis here," said Athes. 

He entered the hotel, and ascended the front steps, and 
addressing a footman who waited there in a grand livery, 
asked if the Duchesse de Chevreuse was visible, and if she 
could receive the Comte de la Fere? 

The servant returned with a message to say that though 
the duchess had not the honor of knowing Monsieur de la 
Fere, she would receive him. He was accordingly announced. 

Madame de Chevreuse, whose name appears so often in our 
story " The Three Guardsmen" without her actually hav 
ing appeared in any scene, was still a most beautiful woman. 
Although about forty-four or forty-five years old, she scarcely 
seemed thirty-eight. She still had her rich fair hair; her 
large, animated, intelligent eyes, so often opened by intrigue, 
so often closed by the blindness of love. She had still her 
nymph-like form, so that when her back was turned, she 
seemed to be still the girl who had jumped with Anne of 
Austria over the moat of the Tuileries in 1563. In all other 
respects she was the same mad creature who threw over her 
amours such an air of originality as to make them almost a 
proverb in her family. 

She was in a little boudoir looking upon a garden, and 
hung with blue damask, adorned by red flowers, with a 
foliage of gold; and reclined upon a sofa, her head supported 
on the rich tapestry which covered it. She held a book in 
her hand, and her arm was supported by a cushion. 

As the footman announced two strangers, she raised herself 
a little and peeped out, with some curiosity. 

Athos appeared. . 



120 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

He was dressed in violet-colored velvet, trimmed with the 
same color. His shonlder-knots were of burnished silver; hia 
mantle had no gold nor embroidery on it, and a simple plume 
of violet feathers adorned his hat; his boots were of black 
leather; and at his girdle hung that sword with a magnificent 
hilt that Porthos had so often admired in theRueFerounie're. 
Splendid lace formed the falling collar of his shirt, and lace 
fell also over the tops of his boots. 

In his whole person he bore such an impress of high con 
dition, that Madame de Chevreuse half rose from her seat 
when she saw him, and made him a sign to sit down near 
her. He obeyed, the servant disappeared, and the door was 
closed. 

There was a momentary silence, during which these two 
persons looked at each other attentively. 

The duchess was the first to speak. 

" Well, sir! I am waiting to hear what you wish to say to 
me with impatience/' 

"And I, madame," replied Athos, "am looking with ad 
miration." 

"Sir/* said Madame de Chevreuse, "you must excuse me, 
but I long to know to whom I am talking. You belong to 
the court, doubtless, yet I have never seen you at court. 
Have you been in the Bastille by any mischance?" 

"No, madame, I have not; but perhaps I am on the road 
to it." 

"Ah! then tell me who you are, and get along with you," 
replied the duchess, with the gayety which made her so oharm- 
ing, "for I am sufficiently in bad odor there already, without 
compromising myself still more." 

" Who I am, madame? My name has been mentioned to 
you the Comte de la Fere you do not know that name. I 
once bore another, which you knew; but you have certainly 
forgotten it." 

" Tell it me, sir." 

"Formerly," said the count, "I was Athos." 

Madame de Chevreuse looked astonished. The name was 
not wholly forgotten, but mixed up and confused with some 
old recollections. 

" Stop," she said. 

And she placed her hands on her brow, as if to force the 
fugitive ideas it contained to be concentrated for a moment. 

"Shall I help you, madame?" asked Athos. 

" Yes, do," said the duchess. 

" This Athos was connected with three young musketeers, 
named Porthos, D'Artagnan, and " 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 121 

He stopped short. 

" And Aramis," said the duchess, quickly. 

" Aud Ararnis: you have not forgotten that name." 

"No," she said; " poor Aramis; a charming man, elegant, 
discreet, and a writer of poetry verses. I am afraid he has 
turned out ill," she added. 

" He has; he is an abbe." 

"Ah, what a misfortune!" exclaimed the duchess, playing 
carelessly with her fan. "Indeed, sir, I thank you; you have 
recalled one of the most agreeable recollections of my 
youth." 

" Will you permit me, then, to recall another to you?" 

" Anything relating to him?" 

" Yes and no. Aramis was intimate with a young needle 
woman from Tours, a cousin of his, named Marie Michon." 

" Ah, I knew her!" cried the duchess. " It was to her he 
wrote from the siege of Rochelle, to warn her of a plot against 
the Duke of Buckingham." 

" Exactly so; will you allow me to speak to you of her?" 

"If," replied the duchess, with a meaning looK, "you do 
not say too much against her." 

" You encourage me, madame. I shall continue," said 
Athos; and he began his narrative. 

He alluded to events long gone by; to the journey in dis 
guise of Marie Michon, the supposed needlewoman of Tours, 
but, in fact, the beautiful, intriguing, and at one time, all 
powerful Duchesse de Chevreuse, into Spain: he spoke of her 
rencounters and adventures; and he told her anecdotes of her 
life which seemed to her mind to be the revelations of a sor 
cerer rather than the disclosures of a mere man. . . . 
These disclosures remain in mystery; they were succeeded by 
an exclamation of joy from Madame de Chevreuse. 

" He is there! my son! the son of Marie Michon! But I 
must see him instantly." 

" Take care, madame," said Athos, "for he knows neither 
his father nor his mother." 

" You have kept the secret! you have brought him to 
see me, thinking to make me happy. Oh, thanks! thanks! 
sir," cried Madame de Chevreuse, seizing his hand, and trying 
to put it to her lips; "you have a noble heart." 

" I bring him to you, madame," said Athos, withdrawing 
his hand, " hoping that, in your turn, you will do something 
for him; till now I have watched over his education, and I 
have made him, I hope, an accomplished gentleman; but I am 
iiow obliged to return to the dangerous and wandering life of 
DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



122 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

party faction. To-morrow I plunge into an adventurous 
affair in which I may be killed. Then it will devolve on you 
to push him on in that world where he is called on to occupy a 
place." 

"Be assured," cried the duchess, "I shall do what I can. 
I have but little influence now, but all that I have shail bo 
his. As to his title and fortune " 

"As to that, madame, I have made over to him the estate 
of Bragelonne, my inheritance, which will give him ten thou 
sand francs a year, and the title of vicomte and now I will 
call him." 

Athos moved toward the door; the duchess held him back. 

"Is he handsome?" she asked. 

Athos smiled. 

" He resembles his mother." 

And he opened the door, and desired the young man to 
come in. 

The duchess could not forbear uttering a cry of joy on see 
ing so handsome a young cavalier, who surpassed all that her 
pride had been able to conceive. 

" Vicomte, come here/' said Athos; " the duchess permits 
you to kiss her hand." 

The youth approached with his charming smile, and his 
head bare, and, kneeling down, kissed the hand of the Duch- 
esse de Chevreuse. 

" Sir," he said, turning to Athos, " was it not in compas 
sion to my timidity that you told me that this lady was the 
Duchesse de Chevreuse, and is she not the queen?'' 

"No," said the duchess, extending her hand to him; "no; 
unhappily I am not the queen, for, if I were, I should do for 
you at once all that you deserve: but let us see; whatever I 
may be," she added, her eyes glistening with delight, "let us 
see what profession you wish to follow?" 

Athos, standing, looked at them both with indescribable 
pleasure. 

" Madame," answered the youth in his sweet voice, "it 
seems to me that there is only one career for a gentleman 
that of the army. I have been brought up by Monsieur le 
Comte with the intention, I believe, of making me a soldier; 
and he gave me reason to hope that, at Paris, he would pre 
sent me to some one who would recommend me to the favor 
of the prince." 

" Yes, I understand it well. Personally I am on bad terms 
with him, on account of the quarrels between Madame de 
Montbazou, my mother-in-law, and Madame de Lougueville. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 123 

But the Prince de Marsillac! yes, indeed, that's the right 
thing. The Prince de Marsillac, my old friend he will 
recommend our young friend to Madame de Lougueville, who 
will give him a letter to her brother, the prince, who loves 
her too tenderly not to do what she wishes immediately." 

" Well, that will do charmingly," said the count; "but 
may I beg that the greatest haste may be made, for I have 
reasons for wishing the vicomto not to sleep longer than to 
morrow night in Paris?" 

"Do you wish it known that you are interested about him, 
Monsieur le Comte?" 

"Better for him, in future, that he should be supposed 
never to have seen me." 

"Oh, sir!" cried Raonl. 

" You know. Bragelonne," said Athos, " I never act with 
out reflection." 

" Well, comte, I am going instantly," interrupted the duch- 
RSS, " to send for the Prince de Marsillac, who is, happily, 
in Paris just now. What are you going to do this evening?" 

" We intend to visit the Abbe Scarron, for whom I have a 
letter of introduction, and at whose house I expect to meet 
some of my friends." 

"'Tis well; I shall go there also, for a few minutes," said 
the duchess; " do not quit his salon until you have seen me." 

Athos bowed, and took his departure. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE ABBE SCARRON. 

THERE was once, in the Rue des Tournelles, a house known 
by all the sedan chairmen and footmen ot Paris, and yet, 
nevertheless, this house was neither that of a great lord, nor 
of a rich man. There was neither dining, nor playing at 
cards, nor dancing in that house. Nevertheless, it was the 
rendezvous of all the great world, and all Paris went there. 
It was the abode of little Scarron. 

There, in the home of that witty abb6, there was incessant 
laughter; there all the news of the day had their source, and 
were so quickly transformed, misrepresented, and converted, 
some into epigrams, some into falsehoods, that every one was 
anxious to pass an hour with little Scarron, listening to what 
he said, and reporting it to others. 

The diminutive Abbe Scarron, who, however, was only an 
abbe because he owned an abbey, and not because he was in 



124 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

orders, had formerly been one of the gayest prebendaries of 
the town of Maur, which he inhabited. But he had become 
lame; every means had been in vain employed to restore the 
use of his limbs. He had been subjected to a severe discipline: 
at length he sent away all his doctors, declaring that he pre 
ferred the disease to the treatment, and came to Paris, where 
the fame of his wit had preceded him. There he had a chair 
made on his own plan; and one day, visiting Anne of Austria 
in this chair, she asked him, charmed as she was with his wit, 
if he did not wish for a title. 

" Yes, your majesty, there is a title which I covet much," 
replied Scarron. 

" And what is that?" 

" That of being your invalid," answered Scarron. 

So he was called the queen's invalid, with a pension of fif 
teen hundred francs. 

From that lucky moment Scarron led a happy life, spending 
both income and principal. One day, however, an emissary 
of the cardinal's gave him to understand that he was wrong 
in receiving the coadjutor so often. 

" And why?" asked Scarron; "is he not a man of good 
birth?" 

' Certainly." 
'Agreeable?" 
Undeniably." 

1 Witty?" 

He has, unluckily, too much wit." 
Well, then, why do you wish me to give up seeing such a 
man?" 

' Because he is an enemy. " 
Of whom?" 
Of the cardinal." 

How?" answered Scarron; " I continue to receive Mon 
sieur CHlles Despreaux, who thinks ill of me, and you wish me 
to give up seeing the coadjutor, because he thinks ill of an 
other man." 

Now, the very morning of which we speak was that of his 
quarter-day's payment, and Scarron, as usual, had sent his 
servant to fetch his money at the pension-office, but he had 
returned, and said that the goverment had no more money 
to give Monsieur Scarron. 

It was a Thursday, the abbe's day of reception; people went 
there in crowds. The cardinal's refusal to pay the pension 
was known about the town in half an hour, and he was abused 
with vehemence. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. Ixfo 

Athos made two visits in Paris; at seven o'clock he and 
Raoul directed their steps to the Rue des Tonrnelles; it was 
stopped up by porters, horses, and footmen. Athos forced 
his way through and entered, followed by the young man. 
The first person that struck him on his entrance was Aramis, 
planted near a great chair on castors, very large, covered with 
,i canopy of tapestry, under which there moved, enveloped in 
a quilt of brocade, a little face, rather young, rather merry, 
but somewhat pallid while its eyes never ceased to express a 
sentiment at once lively, intellectual, and amiable. This* 
was the Abb6 Scarron, always laughing, joking, compli 
menting yet suffering and scratching himself with a little 
switch. 

Around this kind of rolling tent pressed a crowd of gentle 
men and ladies. The room was neat and comfortably 
furnished. Large vallances of silk, embroidered with flowers 
of gay colors, which were rather faded, fell from the wide 
windows; the fitting-up of the room was simple, but in good 
taste. Two men servants, well trained, attended on the com 
pany. On perceiving Athos, Aramis advanced toward him, 
took him by the hand, and presented him to Scarron. RaouJ 
remained silent, for he was not prepared for the dignity of 
the " del esprit." 

After some minutes the door opened, and a footman an- 
11 on need Mademoiselle Paulet. 

Athos touched the shoulder of the vicomte. 

" Look at this lady, Raoul, she is an historic personage; ii 
was to visit her that King Henry IV. was going when he waa 
assassinated." 

Every one thronged round Mademoiselle Paulet, for she was 
always much in fashion. She was a tall woman, with a wavy 
and slender figure, and a forest of golden curls, such aa 
Raphael was fond of, and as Titian has painted all his Mag- 
dalens with. This fawn-colored hair or, perhaps, the sort; 
of ascendancy which she had over other women gave her the 
name of " La Lionue." 

Mademoiselle Paulet took her accustomed seat; but before 
sitting down, she cast, in all her queenlike grandeur, a look 
round the room and her eyes rested on Raoul. 

Athos smiled. 

"Mademoiselle Paulet has observed you, vicomte; go and 
bow to her; don't try to appear anything but what you 
are a true country youth on no account speak to her of 
Henry IV." 

"When shall we two talk together?" Athos then said to 
Aramis, 



126 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Presently there are not a sufficient number of people 
here yet we shall be remarked. " 

At this moment the door opened, and in walked the coad 
jutor. 

At this name every one looked round, for it was already a 
name very celebrated. Athos did the same. He knew the 
Abbe de Gondy only bv report. 

He saw a little dark man, ill-made and awkward with his 
hands in everything except when drawing a sword and firing 
a pistol, and with something haughty and contemptuous in 
his face. 

Scarron turned round toward him, and came to meet him 
in his chair. 

"Well," said the coadjutor on seeing him, "you are in dis 
grace, then, abbe?" 

This was the orthodox phrase. It had been said that even 
ing a hundred times and Scarron was at his hundredth 
" bon-mot" on the subject he was very near stopping short, 
but one despairing effort saved him. 

" Monsieur, the Cardinal Mazarin has been so kind as to 
think of me," he said. 

" But how can you continue to receive us?" asked the 
coadjutor, " if your income is lessened, I shall be obliged 
to make you a canon of Ndtre Dame." 

" Oh, no," cried Scarron, " I should compromise you too 
inuch." 

" Perhaps you have resources of which we are ignorant?" 

" I shall borrow from the queen." 

" But her majesty has no property," interposed Aramis. 

At this moment the door opened, and Madame de Chev- 
reuse was announced. Every one rose. Scarron turned his 
chair toward the door; Raoul blushed; Athos made a sign to 
Aramis, who went to hide himself in the inclosure of a 
window. 

In the midst of all the compliments that awaited her on her 
entrance, the duchess seemed to be looking for some one: at 
last she found out Raoul, and her eyes sparkled; she per 
ceived Athos, and became thoughtful; she saw Aramis in the 
seclusion of the window, and gave a start of surprise behind 
her fan. 

" Apropos," she said, as if to drive away thoughts that pur 
sued her in spite of herself, "how is poor Voiture; do you 
know, Scarron?" 

"What! is Monsieur Voiture ill?" inquired a gentleman 
who had spoken to Athos in the Rue St. Honore"; "what is 
tha matter with him?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 127 

" He was acting but forgot to take the precaution to have 
clean linen brought to change," said the coadjutor, "so he 
took cold, and is going to die." 

" Is he then so ill, dear Voiture?" asked Aramis, half hid 
den by the window curtain. 

"He die!" cried Mademoiselle Paulet bitterly; "he! why 
he is surrounded by sultanas, like a Turk. Madame de 
Saintot has hastened to him with broth; La Reuaudet warms 
his sheets; the Marquise de Eambouillet sends him his 
* tisanes.'" 

" You don't like him, my dear Parthenie," said Scarron. 

" What an injustice, my dear invalid! I hate him so little, 
that I should be delighted to order masses for the repose of 
his soul." 

"You are not called ' Lionne' for nothing," observed Ma 
dame de Chevreuse, " you bite most cruelly." 

" You are unjust to a great poet, so it seems to me," Raoul 
ventured to say. 

"A great poet! he! come, one may easily see, vicomte, 
that you are lately from the provinces, and have never seen 
him. A great poet! he is scarcely five feet high." 

" Bravo! bravo!" cried a tall man with an enormous mus 
tache and a long rapier, " bravo, fair Paulet, it is high time to 
put little Voiture in his right place. For my part I always 
thought his poetry detestable, and I think I know something 
about poetry." 

" Who is this officer," inquired Raoul, of Athos, " who is 
speaking?" 

" Monsieur 'de Scndery, the author of ' Delia/ and of ' Le 
Grand Cyrus/ which were composed partly by him, and partly 
by his sister, who is now talking to that pretty person yonder, 
near Monsieur Scarron." 

Raoul turned, and saw two new faces just arrived. One 
was perfectly charming, delicate, pensive, shaded by beauti 
ful dark hair, with eyes soft as velvet, like those lovely 
ilowers the heart's-ease, under which shine the golden 
petals. The other, of mature age, seemed to have the 
former one under her charge and was cold, dry, and 
yellow the true type of a duenna or a devotee. 

Raoul resolved not to quit the room without having spoken 
to the beautiful girl with the soft eyes, who by a strange 
fancy although she bore no resemblance reminded him of 
his poor little Louise, whom he had left in the Chateau de la 
Valliere, and whom, in the midst of all the party he had 
never one moment forgotten. Meantime Aramis had drawn 



128 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

near to the coadjutor, who, smiling all the while, had con 
trived to drop some words into his ear. Raoul, following the 
advice of Athos, went toward them. Athos had now joined 
the other two, and they were in deep consultation as the 
youth approached them. 

'"Tis a rouleau by Monsieur Voiture that Monsieur l'Abb6 
is repeating to me," said Athos in a loud voice, " and I con- 
fes I think it incomparable." 

Raoul stayed only a few minutes near them, and then 
mingled in the group around Madame de Chevreuse. 

" Well, then," asked Athos, in a low tone, as soon as the 
three friends were unobserved, "to-morrow?" 

'Yes, to-morrow," said Aramis quickly, "at six o'clock." 

' Where?" 

'At St. Maude." 

'Who told you?" 

' The Count de Rochefort." 

Some one drew near. 

"And then philosophic ideas are wholly wanting in 
Voiture's works but I am of the same opinion as the coad 
jutor he is a poet, a true poet." Aramis spoke so as to be 
heard by everybody. 

" And I too," murmured the young lady with the velvet 
eyes; " I have the misfortune also to admire his poetry 
extremely." 

" Monsieur Scarron, do me the honor," said Raoul, 
blushing, " to tell me the name of that young lady whose 
opinion seems so different to that of the others of the com 
pany generally." 

"Ah! my young vicornte," replied Scarron, "I suppose 
you wish to propose to her an alliance offensive and defensive." 

Raoul blushed again. 

" You asked the name of that young lady. She is called 
the fair Indian." 

" Excuse me, sir," returned Raoul, blushing still more 
deeply, " I know no more than I did before. Alas! I am 
from the country." 

" Which means that you know very little about the non 
sense which flows here, down our streets. So much the better, 
young man! so much the better! Don't try to understand it 
you will only lose your time." 

"You forgive me then, sir," said Raoul; "and you will 
deign to tell me who is the person that you call the young 
Indian?" 

" Certainly; one of the most charming persons that lives' 
Mademoiselle Frances d'Aubigne." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 129 

"Does she belong to the family of the celebrated Agrippus, 
the friend of Henry IV. ?" 

" His granddaughter. She comes from Martinique, so I 
call her the beautiful Indian." 

Raoul looked surprised, and his eyes met those of the young 
lady, who smiled. 

The company went on speaking of the poet Voiture. 

" Monsieur," said Mademoiselle d'Aubigne to Scarron, as 
if she wished to join in the conversation he was engaged in 
with Eaoul, "do jou not admire Monsieur Voiture's friends? 
Listen how they pull him to pieces, even while they praise 
him; one takes away from him all claim to good sense, an 
other runs off with his poetry, another with his originality, 
another with his humor, another with his independence of 
character, another but, good heavens! what will they leave 
him? as Mademoiselle de Scudery remarks." 

Scarron and Kaoul laughed. The fair Indian, astonished 
at the sensation her observations produced, looked down and 
resumed her air of " naivete." 

Athos still within the enclosure of the window watched 
this scene with a smile of disdain on his lips. 

"Tell the Count de la Fere to come to me," said Madame 
de Chevreuse, "I want to speak to him." 

"And I," said the coadjutor, " want it to be thought that 
I do not speak to him. I admire, I love him for I know his 
former adventures but I shall not speak to him until the 
day after to-morrow/' 

"- And what then?" asked Madame de Chevreuse. 

"You shall know to-morrow evening," replied the coad 
jutor, laughing. 

Athos then drew near her. 

" Monsieur le Comte," said the duchess, giving him a 
letter, " here is what I promised you; our young friend will 
be extremely well received." 

" Madame, he is very happy in owing any obligation to 
you." 

Madame de Chevreuse rose to depart. 

" Vicomte," said Athos to Eaoul, " follow the duchess; beg 
her to do you the favor to take your arm in going downstairs, 
and thank her as you descend." 

The fair Indian approached Scarron. 

" You are going already?" he said. 

" One of the last, as you see; if you hear anything of 
Monsieur Voiture, be so kind as to send me word to 
morrow." 



130 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Oh!" said Scarron, " he may die now." 

" Why?" asked the young girl with the velvet eyes. 

"Certainly his pynegyric has been uttered." 

They parted, laughing; she turning back to gaze at the 

poor paralytic man with interest, he looking after her with 

eyes of love. 

So the invalid disappeared soon afterward, and went into 

his sleeping-room; and one by one the lights in the salon of 

La Hue des Toumelles were extinguished. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

SAINT DENIS. 

THE day had begun to break when Athos rose and dressed 
himself; it was plain, by the paleness still greater than usual, 
and by those traces which loss of sleep leaves on the face, 
that he must have passed almost the whole of the night 
without sleeping. Contrary to the custom of a man so firm 
and decided, there was this morning in his personal ap 
pearance something slow and irresolute. He was evidently 
occupying himself in preparations for the departure of 
Raoul; after employing nearly an hour in these cares, he 
opened the door of the room in which the vicomte slept, and 
entered. 

The sun, already high, penetrated into the room through 
the window, the curtains of which Raoul had neglected to 
close on the previous evening. He was still sleeping, his head 
gracefully reposing on his arm. 

Athos approached and hung over the youth in an attitude 
full of tender melancholy; he looked long on this young man, 
whose smiling mouth, and half-closed eyes, bespoke soft 
dreams and light slumbers, as if his guardian angel watched 
over him with solicitude and affection. By degrees Athos 
gave himself up to the charms of his reverie in the proximity 
of youth, so j>ure, so fresh. His own youth seemed to 
reappear, bringing with it all those soft remembrances, which 
are like perfumes more than thoughts. Between the past and 
the present there was an abyss. But imagination has the 
flight of an angel of light, and travels over the seas where we 
have been almost shipwrecked the darkness in which our 
associations are lost the precipice, whence our happiness has 
been hurled and swallowed up. He remembered that all the 
first part of his life had been embittered by a woman, and he 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 131 

thought with alarm of the influence which love might possess 
over so fine, and at the same time so vigorous an organization 
as that of Raoul. 

In recalling all that he had suffered, he foresaw all that 
Raoul would suffer; and the expression of the deep and 
tender compassion which throbbed in his heart was pictured 
in the moist eye with which he gazed on the young man. 

At this moment Raoul awoke, without a cloud on his face 
without weariness or lassitude; his eyes were fixed on those 
of Athos, and he, perhaps, comprehended all that passed in 
the heart of the man who was awaiting his awakening as a 
lover awaits the awakening of his mistress, for his glance, in 
return, had all the tenderness of infinite love. 

" You are there, sir," he said respectfully. 

"Yes, Raoul/' replied the count. 

" And you did not awaken me?" 

" I wished to leave you still to enjoy some moments of sleep, 
my child; you must be fatigued from yesterday." 

"Oh, sir! how good you are!" 

Athos smiled. 

"How are you?" he said. 

" Perfectly well; quite rested, sir." 

"You are still growing," Athos continued, with that 
charming and paternal interest felt by a grown man for a 
youth. 

" Oh, sir! I beg your pardon," exclaimed Raoul, ashamed 
of so much attention; "in an instant, I shall be dressed." 

Athos then called Olivain. 

"Everything," said Olivain to Athos, "has been done 
according to your directions; the horses are waiting." 

"And I was asleep!" cried Raoul; " while you, sir, you had 
the kindness to attend to all these details. Truly, sir, you 
overwhelm me with benefits!" 

" Therefore you love me a little, I hope," replied Athos, 
in a tone of emotion. 

"Oh, sir! God knows that I love, I revere you." 

" See that you forget nothing!" said Athos, appearing to 
look about him that he might hide his emotion. 

"No, indeed, sir," answered Raoul. 

The servant then approached Athos, and said hesitatingly; 

" Monsieur le Vicomte has no sword." 

" 'Tis well," said Athos. " I will take care of that." 

They went downstairs; Raoul looking every now and then 
at the count to see if the moment of farewell was at hand, 
but Athos was silent. When they reached the steps, Raoul 
saw three horses. 



132 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Oh, sir! then you are going with me?" 

" I shall conduct you part of the way," said Athos. 

They set out, passing over the Pont Neuf; they pursued 
their way along the quay then called L'Abreuvoir Pepiu, and 
went along by the walls of the Grand Chatelet. They pro 
ceeded to the Rue St. Denis. 

After passing through the Porte Saint Denis, Athos looked 
at Raoul's horse, and said: 

" Take care, Raoul! I have already often told you of this; 
you must not forget it, for it is a great defect in a rider. See! 
your horse is tired already, he froths at the mouth, while 
mine looks as if he had only just left the stable. You hold 
the bit too tight, and so make his mouth hard; so that you 
will not be able to make him maneuver quickly. The safety 
of a cavalier often depends on the prompt obedience of his 
horse. In a week, remember, you will no longer be perform 
ing your maneuvers, as a practice, but on a field of battle." 

Then, suddenly, in order not to give too sad an importance 
to this observation: 

" See, Raoul!" he resumed; " what a fine plain for partridge 
shooting! I have remarked also another thing," said Athos, 
" which is, that in firing off your pistol, you hold your arm 
too much stretched out. This tension lessens the accuracy of 
the aim. So, in twelve times you thrice missed the mark." 

"Which you, sir, struck twelve times/' answered Raoul, 
smiling. 

" Because I bent my arm, and rested my hand on my elbow 
so do you understand what I mean?" 

"Yes, sir. I fired since in that manner, and was com 
pletely successful." 

" What a cold wind!" resumed Athos. "A wintry blast. 
Apropos, if you fire and you will do so, for you are recom 
mended to a young general who is very fond of powder re 
member in single combat (which often takes place in the 
cavalry) never to fire the first shot. He who fires the first shot 
rarely hits his man, for he fires with the apprehension of 
being disarmed before an armed foe; then, while he fires, 
make your horse rear; that maneuver has saved my life sev 
eral times." 

" I shall do so, if only in gratitude for " 

"Eh!" cried Athos, "are not those poachers whom the } 
have arrested yonder? They are. Then another important 
thing, Raoul; should you be wounded in a battle, and fall 
from your horse if you have any strength left, disentangle 
yourself from the line that your regiment has formed; other- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 133 

wise, it may be driven back, and you will be trampled to 
death by the horses. At all events, if you should be wounded, 
write to me the very instant, or make some one write to me. 
We are judges of wounds, we old soldiers," Athos added, 
smiling. 

" Thank you, sir," answered the young man, much moved. 

They arrived that very moment at the gate of the town, 
guarded by two sentinels. 

"Here comes a young gentleman," said one of them, " who 
seems as if he were going to join the army." 

"How do you find that out?" inquired Athos. 

" By his manner, sir, and his age; he's the second to-day." 

" Has a young man, such as I am, gone through this 
morning, then?" asked Raoul. 

"Faith, yes, with a haughty presence and fine equipage; 
such as the son of a noble house would have." 

"He was to be my companion on the journey, sir," cried 
Eaoul. "Alas! he cannot make me forget what I shall have 
lost!" 

Thus talking, they traversed the streets, full of people on 
account of the fte, and arrived opposite the old cathedral 
where the first mass was going on. 

" Let us alight, Raoul," said Athos. " Olivain, take care 
of our horses, and give me my sword." 

The two gentlemen then went into the church. Athos gave 
Raoul some of the holy water. A love as tender as that of a 
lover for his mistress dwells, undoubtedly, in some paternal 
hearts for a son. 

" Come Raoul," he said, "let us follow this man." 

The verger opened the iron grating which guarded the 
royal tombs, and stood on the topmost step, while Athos and 
Raoul descended. The depths of the sepulchral descent were 
dimly lighted by a silver lamp, on the lowest step; and just 
below this lamp there was laid, wrapped in a large mantle of 
violet velvet, worked with fleurs-de-lis of gold, a catafalque 
resting upon trestles of oak. 

The young man, prepared for the scene by the state of his 
own feelings, which were mournful, and by the majesty of the 
cathedral, which he had passed through, had descended in a 
slow and solemn manner, and stood with his head uncovered be 
fore these mortal spoils of the last king, who was not to be placed 
by the side of his forefathers until his successor should take 
his place there; and who appeared to abide on that spot, that 
he might thus address human pride, so sure to be exalted by the 
glories of a throne: "Dust of the earth! I await thee!" 



134 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

There was a profound silence. 

Then Athos raised his hand, and pointing to the coffin 

"This temporary sepulcher is," he said, "that of a man 
of feeble mind; yet whose reign was full of great events; be 
cause, over this king watched the spirit of another man, even 
as this lamp keeps vigil over this coffin, and illumines it. 
He whose intellect was thus supreme, was, Raoul, the actual 
sovereign; the other, nothing but a phantom to whom he 
gave a soul; and yet, so powerful is majesty among us, this man 
has not even the honor of a tomb even at the feet of him in 
whose service his life was worn away. Remember, Raoul, 
this: If Richelieu made the king by comparison, small, he 
made royalty great. The palace of the Louvre contains two 
things the king, who must die and royalty, which dieth 
not. The minister, so feared, so hated by his master, has de 
scended into the tomb, drawing after him the king whom 
he would not leave alone on earth, lest he should destroy 
what he had done. So blind were his contemporaries that 
they regarded the cardinal's death as a deliverance: and, 
I, even I, opposed the designs of the great man who held the 
destinies of France in his hands. Raoul, learn how to dis 
tinguish the king from royalty; the king is but a man; royalty 
is the gift of God. "' Whenever you hesitate as to whom you 
ought to serve, abandon the exterior, the material appear 
ance, for the invisible principle; for the invisible principle 
is everything. Raoul, I seem to read your future des 
tiny as through a cloud. It will be happier, I think, than 
ours has been. Different in your fate to us you will have 
a king without a minister, whom you may serve, love, respect. 
Should the king prove a tyrant, for power begets tyranny, 
serve, love, respect royalty, that Divine right, that celestial 
spark which makes this dust still powerful and holy, so that 
we gentlemen, nevertheless, of rank and condition are as 
nothing in comparison with that cold corpse extended here." 

" I shall adore God, sir," said Raoul. " I shall respect 
royalty, I shall serve the king, and I shall, if death be my lot, 
hope to die for the king, for royalty, and for God. Have I, 
sir, comprehended your instructions?" 

Athos smiled. 

" Yours is a noble nature," he said; " here is your sword." 

Raonl bent his knee to the ground. 

" It was worn by my father, a loyal gentleman. I have 
worn it in my turn, and it has sometimes not been disgraced 
when the hilt was in my hand, and the sheath at my side. 
Should your hand still be too weak to use this sword, Raoul, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. li>5 

so much the better. You will have more time to learu to 
draw it only when it ought to be used." 

" Sir," replied Raoul, putting the sword to his lips as he 
received it from the count, " I owe everything to you, and 
yet this sword is the most precious gift you have made me. 
I shall wear it, I swear to you, as a grateful man should do." 

"'Tis well arise, vicomte, embrace me." 

Raoul rose, and threw himself with emotion into the count's 
arms. 

"Adieu," faltered the count, who felt his heart die away 
within him; "adieu, and think of me." 

"Oh! forever and ever!" cried the youth; "oh! I swear 
to you, sir, should any harm happen to me, your name shall 
be the last that I shall utter the remembrance of you, my 
last thought." 

Athos hastened upstairs to conceal his emotion, and re 
gained, with hurried steps, the porch where Olivain was wait 
ing with the horses. 

" Olivain," said Athos, showing the servant Rnoul's 
shoulder-belt; "tighten the buckle of this sword, which falls 
a little too low. You will accompany Monsieur de Vicomte 
till Grimaud has rejoined you. You know, Raoul, Grimaud 
is an old and zealous servant, he will follow you." 

" Yes, sir," answered Raoul. 

" Now to horse, that I may see you depart." 

Raoul obeyed. 

"Adieu, Raoul," said the count; "adieu, my dear boy!" 

"Adieu, sir adieu my beloved protector." 

Athos waved his hand; he dared not trust himself to speak, 
and Raoul went away, his head uncovered. Athos remained 
motionless, looking after him until he turned the corner of 
the street. 

Then the count threw the bridle of his horse into the hands 
of a peasant, mounted again the steps, went into the 
cathedral, there to kneel down in the darkest corner, and to 
pray. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

ONE OF THE FORTY METHODS OF ESCAPE OF THE DlTC DE 

BEAUFORT. 

THE game at tennis, which, upon a sign from Grimaud, 
Monsieur de Beaufort had consented to play, began in the 



136 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

afternoon. The duke was in full force, and beat La Ramee 
completely. 

Four of the guards, who were constantly near the prisoner, 
assisted in picking up the tennis balls. When the game was 
over, the duke, laughing at La Ramee for his bad play, of 
fered these men two louis-d'or to go and drink his health, 
with their four other comrades. 

The guards asked permission of La Ramee, who gave it to 
them, but not till the evening, however until then he had 
business, and the prisoner was not to be left alone. 

Six o'clock came, and, although they were not to sit down 
to table until seven o'clock, dinner was ready, and served 
up. Upon a sideboard appeared the colossal pie with the 
duke's arms on it, and, seemingly, cooked to a turn, as far as 
one could judge by the golden color which illumined the 
crust. 

The rest of the dinner was to come. 

Every one was impatient; La Ramee to sit down to table 
the guards to go and drink the duke to escape. 

Grimaud alone was calm as ever. One might have fancied 
that Athos had educated him with a forethought of this 
great event. 

There were moments when, looking at Grimaud, the duke 
asked himself if he was not dreaming, and if that marble fig 
ure was really at his service, and would become animate when 
the moment arrived for action. 

La Ramee sent away the guards, desiring them to drink to 
the duke's health, and, as soon as they were gone, he shut all 
the doors, put the keys in his pocket, and showed the table 
to the prince with an air which meant 

"Whenever my lord pleases." 

The prince looked at Grimaud Grimaud looked at the 
clock it was hardly a quarter-past six. The escape was fixed 
to take place at seven o'clock. There were, therefore, three- 
quarters of an hour to wait. 

The duke, in order to delay a quarter of an hour, pretended 
to be reading something that interested him, and said he 
wished they would allow him to finish his chapter. La Ram6e 
went up to him and looked over his shoulder to see what 
book it was that had so singular an influence over the prisoner 
as to make him put off taking his dinner. 

It was "Caesar's Commentaries," which La Ram6ehad lent 
him, contrary to the orders of the governor; and La Ram6e 
resolved never again to disobey those injunctions. 

Meantime he uncorked the bottles, and went to smell if the 
pie was good. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 137 

At half -past six the duke arose, and said very gravely: 

"Certainly, Caesar was the greatest man of ancient times." 

" You think so, my lord?" answered La RarnSe. 

" Yes." 

" Well, as for me, I prefer Hannibal." 

" And why, pray, Master La Ramee?" asked the duke. 

" Because he left no Commentaries," replied La Ram6e, 
with his coarse laugh. 

The duke offered no reply, but sitting down at the table, 
made a sign that La Ramee should also seat himself opposite 
to him. There is nothing so expressive as the face of an epicure 
who finds himself before a well-spread table: so La Ramee, 
when receiving his plate of soup from Grimaud, presented a 
type of perfect bliss. 

The duke smiled. 

"Zounds!" he said; "I don't suppose there is a happier 
man at this moment in the kingdom than you are!" 

" You are right, my lord duke," answered the officer; I 
don't know a pleasanter sight than a well-covered table; and 
when, added to that, he who does the honors is the grandson 
of Henry IV., you will, my lord duke, easily comprehend 
that the honor one receives doubles the pleasure one enjoys." 

The duke bowed in his turn, and an imperceptible smile 
appeared on the face of Grimaud, who kept behind La 
Ramee. 

"My dear La Rarnee," said the duke, "you're the only 
man who can turn a compliment as you do." 

" No, my lord duke," replied La Ramee, in the fullness of 
his heart; " I say what I think there is no compliment in 
what I say to you " 

"Then you are attached to me?" asked the duke. 

" To own the truth, I should be inconsolable if you were 
to leave Viucennes." 

" A droll way of showing your affliction." The duke 
meant to say " affection." 

" But, my lord," returned La Ramee; " what would you 
do if you got out? Every folly you committed would embroil 
you with the court, and they would put you into the Bastille, 
instead of Vincennes. Now, Monsieur de Chavigny is not 
amiable, I allow; but Monsieur du Tremblay is much worse." 

"Indeed!" exclaimed the duke, who from time to time 
looked at the clock, the fingers of which seemed to move 
with a sickening slowness; " but what could you expect from 
the brother of a Capuchin monk, brought up in the school of 
Cardinal Richelieu?" 



138 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Ah, my lord, it is a great happiness that the queen, who 
always wished you well, had a fancy to send you here, where 
there's a promenade and a tennis court, good air, and a good 
table." 

" In short," answered the duke, "if I comprehend you, 
La Ramee, I am ungrateful for having ever thought of leav 
ing this place?" 

"Oh! my lord duke, 'tis the height of ingratitude; but 
your highness has never seriously thought of it?" 

"Yes," returned the duke; "I must confess I do some 
times think of it." 

" Still by one of your forty methods, your highness?" 

"Yes yes, indeed." 

" My lord," said La Ramee, " now we are quite at our 
ease, and enjoying ourselves, pray tell me one of those forty 
ways invented by your highness." 

" Willingly," answered the duke; " give me the pie!" 

"I am listening, "said La Ramee, leaning back in his arm 
chair, and raising his glass of Madeira to his lips, and wink 
ing his eye that he might see the sun through the rich liquid 
that he was about to taste. 

The duke glanced at the clock. In ten minutes it would 
strike seven. 

Grimaud placed the pie before the duke, who took a knife 
with a silver blade to raise the upper crust; but La Ramee, 
who was afraid of any harm happening to this fine work of 
art, passed his knife, which had an iron blade, to the duke. 

"Thank you, La Ramee," said the prisoner. 

" Well, my lord! this famous invention of yours?" 

" Must I tell you," replied the duke, "on what I most 
reckon, and what I determine to try first?" 

" Yes, that one! my lord." 

" Well I should hope, in the first instance, to have as a 
keeper an honest fellow, like you." 

" And you have one, my lord well?" 

" Having then a keeper like La Ramee, I should try also 
to have introduced to me by some friend a man who would 
be devoted to me, and who would assist me in my flight." 

" Come, come," said La Ramee, " not a bad idea." 

" Isn't it? For instance, the former serving man of some 
brave gentleman, an enemy himself to Mazarin, as every 
gentleman ought to be." 

" Hush don't let us talk politics, my lord!" 

" Then my keeper will begin to trust this man, and to de 
pend upon him; and then I shall have news from those with 
out the orison walls." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 139 

"Ah, yes! but how can tne news be brought to you?" 

" Nothing easier in a game of tennis. I send a ball into 
the moat; a man is there who picks it up; the ball contains a 
letter." 

" The devil it does! The devil it does!" said La Rame'e, 
scrachiug his head; " you are wrong to tell me that, my lord. 
I shall watch the men who pick up balls." 

The duke smiled. 

" But," resumed La Ramee, " that is only one way of cor 
responding." 

" 'Tis a good one, it seems to me." 

" But not a sure one." 

" Pardon me. For instance, I say to my friends, Be on a 
certain day, on a certain hour, at the other side of the moat, 
with two horses." 

" Well, what then?" La Ramee began to be uneasy "un 
less the horses have wings to mount up to the ramparts and 
to come and fetch you." 

" That's not needed. I have," replied the duke, " a way 
of descending from the ramparts." 

" What?" 

"A ladder of ropes." 

" Yes but," answered La Ramee, trying to laugh, " a 
ladder of ropes can't be sent round a ball like a letter." 

"No; but it can come in another way in a pie, for in 
stance," replied the duke. " The guards are away. Gri- 
maud is here alone; and Grimaud is the man whom a friend 
has sent to second me in everything. The moment for my 
escape is fixed seven o'clock. Well, at a few minutes to 
seven " 

" At a few minutes to seven?" cried La Rame"e, the cold 
sweat on his brow. 

"At a few minutes to seven," returned the duke (suiting 
the action to the words), "I raise the crust of the pie. I 
find in it two poniards, a ladder of ropes, and a gag. I 
point one of the poniards at La Rainee's breast, and I say 
to him, 'My friend, I arn sorry for it; but if thou stirrest, if 
tLou utterest a cry, thou art a dead man!' ' 

The duke, in pronouncing these words, suited, as we have 
before said, the action to the words. He was standing near 
the officer, and he directed the point of the poniard in such 
a manner, close to La Ramee's heart, that there could be no 
doubt in the mind of that individual as to his determination. 
Meanwhile, Grimaud, still mute as ever, drew from the pie 
the other sword, the rope-ladder, and the gag. 



140 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

La Ramee followed all these objects with his eyes; his 
alarm every moment increasing. 

"Oh, my lord!" he cried, with an expression of stupefac 
tion in his face; "you haven't the heart to kill me!" 
" No; not if thou dost not oppose my flight." 
' But, my lord, if I let you escape, I am a ruined man." 
' I shall compensate thee for the loss of thy place." 
' You are determined to leave the chateau?" 
' By heaven and earth! This evening I shall be free." 
' And if I defend myself, or call, or cry out?'* 
" I shall kill thee; on the honor of a gentleman, I shall." 
At this moment the clock struck. 

"Seven o'clock!" said Grimaud, who had not spoken a 
word. 

La Ramee made one movement, in order to satisfy his con 
science. The duke frowned; the officer felt the point of the 
poniard, which, having penetrated through his clothes, was 
close to his heart. 

' Let us despatch," said the duke. 
'My lord one last favor." 
'What? speak make haste." 
' Bind my arms, my lord, fast." 
'Why bind thee?"" 

'That I may not be considered as your accomplice." 
' Your hands?" asked Grimaud. 
'Not before tne, behind me." 
' But with what?" asked the duke. 
" With your belt, my lord," replied La Ramee. 
The duke undid his belt and gave it to Grimaud, who tied 
La Ram6e in such a way as to satisfy him. 
"Your feet also," said Grimaud. 

La Ramee stretched out his legs, Grimaud took a napkin, 
tore it into strips, and tied La Ramee's feet together. 

" Now, my lord," said the poor man, " let me have tho 
poire d'angoisse. I ask for it; without it I should be tried in 
a court of justice because I did not cry out. Thrust it into 
my mouth, my lord, thrust it in." 

Grimaud prepared to comply with this request, when the 
officer made a sign as if he had something to say. 
" Speak," said the duke. 

"Now, my lord, do not forget, if any harm happens to me, 
on your account, that I have a wife and four children." 
"Rest assured put the gag in, Grimaud." 
In a second La Ramee was gagged, and laid prostrate. Two 
or three chairs were thrown down, as if there had been a 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 141 

struggle. Grimaud then took from the pocket of the officer 
all the keys it contained, and first opened the door of the 
room in which they were, then shut it, and double-locked it, 
and both he and the duke proceeded rapidly down the gallery, 
which led to the little inclosure. At last they reached the 
tennis-court. It was completely deserted. No sentinels no 
one at the windows. 

The duke ran on to the rampart, and perceived, on the other 
side of the ditch, three cavaliers with two riding horses. The 
duke exchanged a signal with them. It was well for him that 
they were there. 

Grimaud, meantime, undid the means of escape. 

This was not, however, a rope-ladder, but a ball of silk 
cord, with a narrow board, which was to pass between the 
legs and to unwind itself by the weight of the person who sat 
astride upon the board. 

"Go!" said the duke. 

"The first, my lord?" inquired Grimaud. 

" Certainly. If I am caught, I risk nothing but being 
taken back again to prison. If they catch thee, thou wilt be 
hung." 

" True," replied Grimaud. 

And, instantly, Grimaud, sitting upon the board, as if on 
horseback, commenced his perilous descent. 

The duke followed him with his eyes with involuntary ter 
ror. He had gone down about three-quarters of the length 
of the wall, when the cord broke. Grimaud fell precipitated 
into the moat. 

The duke uttered a cry, but Grimaud did not give a single 
moan. He must have been dreadfully hurt, for he did not 
stir from the place where he fell. 

Immediately, one of the men who were waiting, slipped 
down into the moat, tied under Grimaud's shoulders the end 
of a cord, and the other two, who held the other end, drew 
Grimaud to them. 

" Descend, my lord," said the man in the moat. " There 
are only fifteen feet more from the top down here, and the 
grass is soft." 

The duke had already begun to descend. His task was the 
more difficult, as there was no board to support him. He was 
obliged to let himself down by his hands, and from a height 
of fifty feet. But, as we have said, he was active, strong, and 
full of presence of mind. In less than five minutes he arrived 
at the end of the cord. He was then only fifteen feet from 
the ground, as the gentleman below had told him. He let go 



142 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

the rope, and fell upon his feet, without receiving any 
injury. 

He instantly began to climb up the slope of the moat, on 
the top of which he met De Rochefort. The other two gen 
tlemen were unknown to him. Grimaud, in a swoon, was 
tied on to a horse. 

" Gentlemen," said the duke, " I shall thank you later: 
now we have not a moment to lose. On, then! on! those who 
love me, follow me!" 

And he jumped on his horse, and set off on full gallop, 
drawing in the fresh air, and crying out, with an expression 
of face which it would be impossible to describe: 

"Free! free! free!" 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE TIMELY ARRIVAL OF D'ARTAGNAN IN PARIS. 

AT BLOIS D'Artagnan received the money paid to him by 
Mazarin for any future services he might render the cardinal. 

From Blois to Paris was a journey of four days for ordinary 
travelers, but D'Artagnan arrived on the third day at the 
Barriere Saint Denis. In turning the corner of the Rue 
Montmartre, in order to reach the Rue Tiquetonne and the 
Hotel de la Chevrette, where he had appointed Porthos to 
meet him, he saw, at one of the windows of the hotel, his 
friend Porthos, dressed in a sky-blue waistcoat, embroidered 
with silver, and gaping, till he showed all down bis throat; 
while the people passing by admiringly gazed at this gentle 
man, so handsome and so rich, who seemed so weary of his 
riches and his greatness. 

Porthos, seeing D'Artagnan, hastened to receive him on the 
threshold of the hotel. 

"Ah! rny dear friend!" he cried, "what bad stabling for 
my horses here!" 

"Indeed!" said D'Artagnan; "I am most unhappy to hear 
it, on account of those fine animals." 

"And I also I was also wretchedly off," he answered, 
moving backward and forward as he spoke "and had it not 
been for the hostess," he added, with his air of vulgar self- 
complacency, " who is very agreeable, and understands a joke, 
I should have got a lodging elsewhere." 

"Yes, I understand," said D'Artagnan, "the air of La 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 143 

Kue Titquetonne is not like that of Pierrefonds; but console 
yourself, I shall soon conduct you to one much better." 

Then, taking Porthos aside: 

"My dear De Valon," he said, "here you are in full dress 
most fortunately, for I shall take you directly to the car 
dinal's." 

"Gracious me! really!" cried Porthos, opening his great, 
wondering eyes. 

"Yes, my friend." 

"A presentation? indeed!" 

" Does that alarm you ?" 

" No; but it agitates me." 

"Oh! don't be distressed ; you have not to deal with the 
other cardinal; and this one will not oppress you by his 



"'Tis the same thing you understand me, D'Artaguan a 
court." 

" There's no court now. Alas!" 

"The queen!" 

"I was going to say, there's no longer a queen. The queen! 
Be assured we shall not see her." 

"But you, my friend; are you not going to change your 
dress?" 

" No, I shall go as I am. This traveling dress will show 
the cardinal my haste to obey his commands." 

They set out on Vulcan and Bayard, followed by Mousque- 
ton and Phoebus, and arrived at the Palais Royal at about a 
quarter to seven. The streets were crowded, for it was the 
day of Pentecost and the crowd looked in wonder at these 
two cavaliers; one as fresh as if he had come out of a band 
box, the other so covered with dust that he looked as if he 
had come from a field of battle. 

Mousqueton also attracted attention; and as the romance 
of Don Quixote was then the fashion, they said that he was 
Sancho, who, after having lost one master, had found two. 

On reaching the palace, D'Artagnan sent in to his eminence 
the letter in which he had been ordered to return without 
delay. He was soon ordered to enter into the presence of the 
cardinal. 

" Courage!" he whispered to Porthos, as they proceeded. 
" Do not be intimidated. Believe me, the eye of the eagle is 
closed forever. We have only the vulture to deal with. Hold 
yourself up as stiff as on the day of the bastion of Saint Ger- 
vais; and do not bend too low to this Italian: that might 
give him a poor idea of us." 



144 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Good!" answered Porthos. " Good." 

Mazarin was in his study, working at a list of pensions and 
benefices, of which he was trying to reduce the number. He 
saw D'Artsignan and Porthos enter with pleasure, yet showed 
no joy in his countenance. 

"Ah! you, is it? Monsieur le Lieutenant, you have been 
vei$r prompt. "Tis well. Welcome to ye." 

" Thanks, my lord. Here I am at your eminence's serv 
ice, as well as Monsieur de Valou, one of my old friends, 
who used to conceal his nobility under the name of Porthos." 

Porthos bowed to the cardinal. 

" A magnificent cavalier," remarked Mazarin. 

Porthos turned his head to the right and to the left, and 
drew himself up with a movement full of dignity. 

" The best swordsman in the kingdom, my lord," said 
D'Artagnan. 

Porthos bowed to his friend. 

Mazarin was as fond of fine soldiers as, in later times, Fred 
erick of Prussia used to be. He admired the strong hands, the 
broad shoulders, and steady eye of Porthos. He seemed to 
see before him the salvation of his administration, and of 
the kingdom, sculptured in flesh and bone. He remembered 
that the old association of musketeers was composed of four 
persons. 

"And your two other friends?" he asked. 

Porthos opened his mouth, thinking it a good opportunity 
to put in a word in his turn; D'Artagnan checked him by a 
glance from the corner of his eye. 

" They are prevented at this moment, but will join us 
later." 

Mazarin coughed a little. 

" And this gentleman, being disengaged, takes to the serv 
ice willingly?" he asked. 

" Yes, my lord, and from complete devotion to the cause, 
for Monsieur de Bracieux is rich." 

" Fifty thousand francs a-year/' said Porthos. 

These were the first words he had spoken. 

" From pure zeal?" resumed Mazarin, with his artful smile; 
"from pure zeal and devotion, then?" 

" My lord has, perhaps, no faith in that word," said D'Ar 
tagnan. 

" Have you, Monsieur le Gascon?" asked Mazarin, support 
ing his elbows on his desk, and his chin on his hands. 

" I," replied the Gascon, " I believe in devotion as a word 
at one's baptism, for instance, which naturally comes before 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 145 

one's proper name; every one is naturally more or less 
devout, certainly; but there should be, at the end of one's 
devotion, something to gain." 

" Your friend, therefore, what does he wish for as the 
reward of his devotion?" 

D'Artagnan was about to explain that the aim and end of 
the zeal of Porthos, was, that one of his estates should be 
erected into a barony, when a great noise was heard in the 
antechamber; at the same time the door of the study was 
burst open, and a man, covered with dust, rushed into it, 
exclaiming: 

" My lord the cardinal! my lord the cardinal!" 

Mazarin thought that some one was going to assassinate 
him, and he drew back, pushing his chair on the castors. 
D'Artagnan and Porthoa moved so as to plant themselves 
between the person entering and the cardinal. 

" Well, sir," exclaimed Mazarin, " what's the matter? and 
why do you rush in here as if you were just going into a 
market-place?" 

" My lord," replied the messenger, " I wish to speak to 
your eminence in secret. I am Monsieur du Poins, an officer 
in the guards, on duty at the donjon of Vincennes." 

Mazarin, perceiving by the paleness and agitation of the 
messenger that he had something of importance to say, made 
a sign that D'Artagnan and Porthos should retire. 

When they were alone: 

" What I have to say is, my lord, that the Due de Beaufort 
has contrived to escape from the Chateau of Vincennes." 

Mazarin uttered a cry, and became paler than he who 
brought this news. He fell, almost fainting, back in his 
chair. 

"Escaped? Monsieur de Beaufort escaped?" 

" My lord, I saw him run off from the top of the terrace." 

" And you did not fire on him?" 

' He was beyond reach of a shot." 

' Monsieur de Chaviguy where was he?" 

'Absent." 

' And La Ramee?" 

' He was found locked up in the prisoner's room, a gag in 



his 



mouth, and a poniard near him." 



But the man who was under him?" 

' Was an accomplice of the duke's, and escaped with him." 
Mazarin groaned. 

" My lord," said D'Artagnan, advancing toward the car 
dinal, " it seems to me that your eminence is losing precious 
7 DUMAS VOL. XI 11. 



146 TWENTY YEARd AFTER. 

time. It may still be possible to trace the prisoner. France 
is large; the nearest frontier is sixty leagues distant." 

"And who is to pursue him?" cried Mazarin. 

"I! Egad! if my lord orders me to pursue the devil, I 
would do so, and seize him by the horns and bring him back 
again." 

" And I, too," said Porthos. 

"Go, then; take what guards you find here, and pursue 
him." 

"You command us, my lord, to do so?" 

"And I sign my orders," said Mazarin, taking a piece of 
paper, and writing some lines; " Monsieur de Valou, your 
barony is on the back of the Due de Beaufort's horse; you 
have nothing to do but to overtake it. As for you, rny dear 
lieutenant, I promise you nothing; but if you bring him back 
to me, dead or alive, you shall ask all you wish." 

" To horse, Porthos!" said D'Artagnan, taking his friend 
by the hand. 

" Here I am," replied Porthos, with his sublime com 
posure. 

They descended the great staircase, taking with them all the 
guards that they found on their road, and crying out, " To 
horse! To horse!" and they spurred on their horses, which 
set off along the Eue St. Honor6 with the speed of a whirl 
wind. 

" Well, baron! I promised you some good exercise!" said 
the Gascon. 

" Yes, my captain." 

As they went, the citizens, awakened, left their doors, and 
the fierce dogs followed the cavaliers, barking. At the corner 
of the Cimetiere Saint Jean, D'Artagnan upset a man: it was 
too slight an occurrence to delay people so eager to get on. 
The troop continued its course as if their steeds were winged. 

Alas! there are no unimportant events in this world! and 
v/e shall see that this apparently slight one was near en 
dangering the monarchy. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

AN ADVENTURE ON THE HIGHROAD. 

THE musketeers rode the whole length of the Faubourg St. 
Antoine, and of the road to Vincennes, and soon found them 
selves out of the town, then in a forest, and then in sight of 
a village. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 147 

From the top of an eminence D'Artagnan perceived a group 
of people collected on the other side of the moat, in front of 
that part of the donjon which looks toward Saint Maur. He 
rode on, convinced that he should in that direction gain in 
telligence of the fugitive; and he learned from the people 
that composed that group, that the duke had been pursued 
without success; that his party consisted of four able men, and 
one wounded, and that they were two hours and a quarter in 
advance of their pursuers. 

''Only four!" cried D'Artagnan, looking at Porthos; 
" baron, only four of them 1" 

Porthos smiled. 

" And only two hours and a quarter before us, and we so 
well mounted, Porthos!" 

Porthos sighed, and thought of all that was awaiting his 
poor horses. 

The troop then pursued their course with their wonted 
ardor; but some of them could no longer sustain this 
rapidity; three of them stopped after an hour's march and 
one fell down. 

D'Artagnan, who never turned his head, did not perceive it. 
Porthos told him of it in his calm manner. 

" If we can only keep two," said D'Artagnan, " it will be 
enough, since the duke's troop are only four in number." 

And he spurred his horse on. 

At the end of another two hours the horses had gone 
twelve leagues without stopping; their legs begun to tremble; 
and the foam that they shed whitened the doublets of their 
masters. 

" Let us rest here an instant to give these miserable creatures 
breathing time," said Porthos. 

" Let us rather kill them! yes, kill them!" cried D'Artag 
nan; " I see fresh tracks; 'tis not a quarter of an hour since 
they passed this place." 

In fact, the ro;d was trodden by horses' feet, visible even 
in the approaching gloom of evening. 

They set out; after a run of two leagues, Mousqueton's 
horse sank. 

' Gracious me!" said Porthos, "there's Phoebus ruined." 

' The cardinal will pay you a hundred pistoles." 

I'm above that." 

' Let us set out then again, on a full gallop. * 

' Yes, if we can." 

But, at last, the lieutenant's horse refused to go or; he 
could not breathe; one last spur, instead of making him ad 
vance made him fall. 



148 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"The devil!" exclaimed Porthos, "there's Vulcan foun 
dered." 

"Zounds!" cried D'Artagnan, " we must then stop! Give 
me your horse, Porthos! What the devil are you doing?" 

"By Jove, I um falling, or rather Bayard is falling," 
answered Porthos. 

All three then called out, " All's over." 

'' Hush!" said D'Artagnan. 

" What is it?" 

" I hear a horse, 'tis on before; it is at a hundred steps 
from hence, and in advance of us." 

There was, in truth, the neighing of a horse heard. 

" Sir," said Mousqueton, "at a hundred steps from us 
there's a little hunting seat." 

" Mousqueton, my pistols." 

" They are in my hand, sir." 

" Porthos, keep yours in your saddle-bags." 

"I have them." 

" Now, we require horses for the king's service." 

" For the king's service," repeated Porthos. 

" Then not a word, and to work!" 

They went on, through the night, silent as phantoms; they 
saw a light shine in the midst of some trees. 

" There is the house, Porthos," said the Gascon; " let me 
do what I please, and do you do what I do." 

They glided from tree to tree, till they arrived at twenty 
steps from the house unperceived, and saw, by means of a 
lantern suspended under a hut, four fine horses. A 
groom was rubbing them down; near them were saddles and 
bridles. 

" I want to buy thy horses," said D'Artagnan, approaching 
the groom. 

" These horses are not to be sold," was the reply 

" I take them, then," said the lieutenant. 

And he took hold of one within his reach; his two com 
panions did the same thing. 

" Sir," cried the groom, " they have just been six leagues, 
and have only been unharnessed about half an hour." 

"Half an hour's rest is enough," replied the Gascon. 

The groom called aloud for help. A kind of steward ap 
peared, just as D'Artaguan and his companions were pre 
pared to mount. The steward wished to expostulate 

" My dear friend," cried the lieute nant, " if you say a 
word I will blow out your brains." 

"But sir," answered the steward, "do you know that 
these horses belong to Monsieur de Montbazon?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 149 

"So much the better; they must be good animals, then." 

" Sir, I shall call my people." 

" And I mine; I've ten guards behind me; don't you hear 
them gallop; and I'm one of the king's musketeers; come 
Porthos, come Houston." 

They all mounted the horses as quickly as possible. 

"Here! here!" cried the steward; " the house servants with 
the carabines." 

" On! on!" cried D'Artagnan; "there'll be firing! on!" 

They all set off, swift as the winds. 

" Here!" cried the steward, " here!" while the groom ran 
to a neighboring building. 

" Take care of your horses," said D'Artagnan to him. 

" Fire!" replied the steward. 

A gleam, like a flash of lightning, illumined the road, and, 
with the flash, was heard the whistling of balls, which were 
fired in the air. 

" They fire like grooms," said Porthos; "in the time of 
the cardinal people fired better than that; do you remember 
the road to Crevecceur, Mousqueton?" 

"Ah, sir! my left side still pains me." 

" Are you sure we are on the right track, lieutenant?" 

" Egad, didn't you hear these horses belong to Monsieur 
de Montbazon: well, Monsieur de Montbazon is the husband 
of Mad ape de Moutbazon " 

And " 

"And Madame de Montbazon is the mistress of the Ducde 
Beaufort." 

" Ah! I understand," replied Porthos; " she has ordered 
relays of horses." 

" Exactly so." 

" And we are pursuing the duke with the very horses he 
has just left?" 

" My dear Porthos, you are really a man of superior under 
standing," said D'Artagnan, with a look as if he spoke against 
his conviction. 

" Pooh!" said Porthos, " I am what I am." 

They rode on for an hour, till the horses were covered with 
foam and dust. 

'Zounds! what is yonder?" cried D'Artagnan. 
' You are very lucky, if you see anything in such a night 
as this," said Porthos. 
' Something bright." 

' I, too," cried Monsqueton, " saw them also." 
'Yes, a dead horse," said D'Artagnan, pulling up his 



150 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

horse, which shied: "it seems that they also are broken- 
winded as well as ourselves." 

" I seem to hear the noise of a troop of horsemen," ex 
claimed Porthos, leaning over his horse s mane. 

" Impossible!" 

"They appear to be numerous." 

"Then, tis something else." 

"Another horse!" said Porthos. 

"Dead!" 

" No; dying." 

" Saddled f' 

"Yes, saddled and bridled." 

" Then 'tis the fugitives." 

"Courage, we have them!" 

"But, if they are numerous," observed Monsqueton, " 'tis 
not we who have them, but they who have us." 

"Nonsense!" cried D'Artagnau, "they'll suppose us to be 
stronger than themselves, as we're in pursuit; they'll be 
afraid, and disperse." 

" Certainly," remarked Porthos. 

"Ah! do you see?" cried the lieutenant. 

" The lights again! this time I too saw them," said 
Porthos. 

"On! on! forward! forward!" cried D'Artagnan, in his 
stentorian voice, " we shall laugh over all this in five 
minutes." 

And they darted on anew. The horses, excited by pain 
and emulation, raced over the dark road, in the midst of 
which was now seen a moving mass, more dense and obscure 
than the rest of the horizon. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

THE RENCOUNTER. 

THEY rode on in this way for ten minutes. Suddenly two 
dark forms seemed to separate from the mass, advanced, 
grew in size, and, as they grew larger and larger, assumed 
the appearance of two horsemen. 

"Oh, oh!" cried D'Artagnau, " they're coming toward us." 

"So much the worse for them," said Porthos. 

" Who goes there?" cried a hoarse voice. 

The three horsemen made no reply, stopped not, and all 
that was heard was the noise of swords, drawn from the scab- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 151 

bards, and of the cocking of the pistols, with which the two 
phantoms were armed. 

"Arm to the teeth," said D'Artagnan. 

Porthos understood him, and he and the lieutenant each 
one took from his left hand a pistol, and armed himself each 
in his turn. 

" Who goes there?" was asked a second time. " Not a step 
forwarder, or you're dead men!" 

" Stuff!" cried Porthos, almost choked with dust. " Stuff 
and nonsense! we have seen plenty of dead men in our time." 

Hearing these words, the two shadows blockaded the road, 
and by the light of the stars might be seen the shining of 
their arms. 

" Back!" cried D'Artaguan; " or you are dead!" 

Two shots were the reply to this threat; but the assailants 
attacked their foes with such velocity that in a moment they 
were upon them; a third pistol shot was heard, aimed by 
D'Artagnan; and one of his adversaries fell. As to Porthos 
he assaulted his with such violence, that although his 
sword was thrust aside, the enemy was thrown off his horse, 
and fell about ten steps from it. 

" Finish! Houston finish the work!" cried Porthos. And 
he darted on, beside his friend, who had already begun a 
fresh pursuit. 

" Well?" said Porthos. 

" I've broken his skull," cried D'Artagnan. " And 
you " 

"I've only thrown him down; but hark!" 

Another shot of a carabine was heard. It was Mousque- 
ton, who was obeying his master's command. 

" On! on!" cried D'Artagnan; "all goes well! we have the 
first throw." 

"Ha! ha!" answered Porthos; "behold, other players 
appear." 

And, in fact, two other cavaliers made their appearance 
detached, as it seemed, from the principal group; they again 
disputed the road. 

This time the lieutenant did not wait for the opposite 
party to speak. 

" Stand aside," he cried; "stand off the road." 

" What do you want?" asked a voice. 

" The duke!" Porthos and D'Artagnan roared out both at 
once. 

A burst of laughter was the answer, but finished with a 
groan. D'Artagnan had, with his sword, cut the poor wretch 
lu two who had laughed. 



152 TWENTY YEAES AFTER, 

At the same time Porthos and his adversary fired on each 
other, and D'Artngnan turned to him: 

"Bravo! you've killed him, I think." 

" No, wounded his horse only." 

"But what ails my horse?" 

" What ails your horse is, that he's falling down," replied 
Porthos. 

In truth, the lieutenant's horse stumbled, and fell on his 
knees; then a rattling in his throat was heard, and he lay 
down to die. D'Artagnan swore loud enough to be heard in 
the skies above. 

" Does your honor want a horse?" asked Mousqueton. 

"Zounds! want one?" cried the Gascon. 

" Here's one, your honor " 

"How the devil hast thou two horses?" asked D'Artagnan, 
jumping on one of them. 

" Their masters are dead! I thought they might be useful, 
so I took them." 

Meantime Porthos had reloaded his pistols. 

"Be on the alert!" cried D'Artagnan. "Here are two 
other cavaliers." 

As he spoke two horsemen advanced at full speed. 

" Ho! your honor," cried Mousqueton, " the man you upset 
is getting up." 

" Why didn't thou do as thou didst to the first man?" said 
Porthos. 

"I held the horses, my hands were full, your honor." 

A shot was fired that moment Mousqueton shrieked 
with pain. 

" Ah, sir! I'm hit in the other side! exactly in the other! 
This hurt is just the fellow of that I had on the road to 
Amiens." 

Porthos turned round like a lion plunged on the dis 
mounted cavalier, who tried to draw his sword; but, before 
it was out of the scabbard, Porthos, with the hilt of his, had 
bit him such a terrible blow on the head that he fell like an 
ox beneath the butcher's knife. 

Mousqueton, groaning, slipped down from his horse his 
wound not allowing him to sit in his saddle. 

On perceiving the cavaliers, D'Artagnan had "topped and 
charged his pistol afresh; besides, his horse, he _und, had a 
carabine on the bow of the saddle. 

"Here I am!" exclaimed Porthos. "Shall we wait, or 
shall we charge?" 

" Let us charge them," answered the Gascon. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 153 

" Charge!" said Porthos. 

They spurred on their horses; the other cavaliers were only 
twenty steps from them. 

" For the king!" cried D'Artagnan. 

" The king has no authority here!" answered a deep voice, 
which seemed to proceed from a cloud so enveloped was the 
cavalier in a whirlwind of dust. 

" 'Tis well; we will see if the king',8 name is not a passport 
everywhere," replied the Gascon. 

" See!" answered the voice. 

Two shots were fired at once; one by D'Artagnan, the other 
by the adversary of Porthos. D'Artagnan's ball took off his 
enemy's hat. The ball fired by Porthos' foe went through 
the throat of his horse, which fell, groaning. 

"Ah! this," cried the voice, the tone of which was at 
once piercing and jeering " this! 'tis nothing but a butch 
ery of horses, and not a combat between men. To the 
sword, sir! the sword!" 

And he jumped off his horse. 

" To our swords! be it so!" replied D'Artagnan ' that's 
just what I want." 

D'Artagnan, in two steps, was engaged with the foe, whom, 
according to his custom, he attacked impetuously; but he 
met this time with a skill and a strength of arm which made 
him pause. Twice he was obliged to step back; his opponent 
stirred not one inch. D'Artagnan returned, and again at 
tacked him. 

Twice or thrice blows were struck on both sides without 
effect; sparks were emitted from the swords, like water spout 
ing out. 

At last D'Artagnan thought it was time to try one of his 
favorite feints in fencing. He brought it to bear; skillfully 
executed it with the rapidity of lightning; and struck the 
blow with a force which he fancied would prove irresistible. 

The blow was parried. 

"Sdeath!" he cried, with his Gascon accent. 

At this exclamation his adversary bounded back, and, bend 
ing his bare head, tried to distinguish in the gloom the fea 
tures of the lieutenant. 

As to D'Artagnau, afraid of some feint, he still stood on 
the defensive. 

" Have a care," cried Porthos to his opponent; " I've still 
two pistols charged." 

" The more reason you should fire the first," cried his foe. 

Porthos fired; a flash threw a gleam of light over the field 
of battle. 



154 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

As the light shone on them, a cry was heard from the other 
two combatants. 

" Athos!" exclaimed D'Artagnan. 

" D'Artagnan!" ejaculated Athos. 

Athos raised his sword D'Artagnan lowered his. 

" Aramis!" cried Athos "don't fire!" 

" Ha! ha! is it you, Aramis?" said Porthos. 

And he threw away his pistol. 

Aramis pushed his back into his saddle-bags, and sheathed 
his sword. 

"My son!" exclaimed Athos, extending his hand to D'Ar 
tagnan. 

This was the name which he gave him in former days in, 
their moments of tender intimacy. 

"Athos!" cried D'Artagnan, wringing his hands. "So 
you defend him! And I, who have sworn to take him dead 
or alive, I am dishonored Ah!" 

"Kill me!" replied Athos, uncovering his breast, "if your 
honor requires my death." 

" Oh! woe's me! woe's- me!" cried the lieutenant; " there's 
only one man in the world who could stay my hand; by a 
fatality that very man comes across my way. What shall I 
say to the cardinal?" 

" You can tell him, sir," answered a voice, which was a 
voice of high command in that battlefield, "that he sent 
against me the only two men capable of getting the better of 
four men of fighting man to man, without discomfiture 
against the Count de la Fere and the Chevalier D'Herblay, 
and of surrendering only to fifty men!" 

"The prince!" exclaimed at the same moment Athos and 
Aramis, unmasking as they spoke; " the Due de Beaufort!" 
while D'Artagnan and Porthos stepped backward. 

" Fifty cavaliers!" cried the Gascon and Porthos. 

"Look round you, gentlemen, if you doubt the facts," 
said the duke. 

The two friends looked to the right to the left; they were 
encompassed by a troop of horsemen. 

" Hearing the noise of the fight," resumed the duke, "I 
fancied you had about twenty men with you, so I came back 
with those around me, tired of always running away, and 
wishing to draw my sword for my own cause; but you are 
only two." 

" Yes, my lord; but, as you have said, two equal to twen 
ty," said Athos. 

" Come, gentlemen, your swords," said the duke. 



TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 155 

"Our swords!" cried D'Artagnan, raising his head and re 
gaining his self-possession " Never!" 

"Never/' added Porthos. 

Some of the men moved toward them. 

" One moment, my lord," whispered Athos; and he said 
something in a low voice. 

"As you will/' replied the duke. "I am too much in 
debted to you to refuse your first request. Gentlemen," he 
said to his escort, "withdraw. Monsieur d'Artagnan, Mon 
sieur de Valon, you are free." 

The order was obeyed; D'Artagnan and Porthos then found 
themselves in the center of a large circle. 

" Now, D'Herblay," said Athos, " dismount, and come 
here." 

Aramis dismounted/and went to Porthos; while Athos ap 
proached D'Artaguan. All the four were together. 

" Friends!" said Athos5 " do you regret that you have not 
shed our blood ?" 

"No," replied D'Artagnan; "I regret to see that we, 
hitherto united, are opposed to each other. Ah! nothing 
will ever go well with us now!" 

"Oh! heaven! No, all is over," said Porthos. 

"Well be on our side now," resumed Aramis. 

" Silence, D'Herblay!" cried Athos; "such proposals are 
not to be made to gentlemen such as these. 'Tis a matter of 
conscience with them, as with us." 

" Meantime, here we are, enemies," said Porthos. " Gram- 
mercy! who would ever have thought it?" 

D'Artagnan only sighed. 

Athos looked at them both, and took their hands in his. 

" Gentlemen!" he said, " this is a serious business, and my 
heart bleeds as if you had pierced it through and through. 
Yes, we are severed; there is the great the sad truth! but 
we have not as yet declared war; perhaps we shall have to 
make certain conditions, therefore a solemn conference is 
indispensable." 

" For my own part, I demand it," said Aramis. 

"I accept it," interposed D'Artagnan proudly. 

Porthos bowed, as if in assent. 

" Let us choose a place of rendezvous," continued Athos; 
"and, in a last interview, arrange our mutual position, and 
the conduct we are to maintain toward each other." 

" Good!" the other three exclaimed. 

" Well, then, the place?" 

" Will the Place Koyale suit you?" asked D'Artagnan. 



156 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" In Paris?" 

"Yes." 

Athos and Aramis looked at each other. 

"The Place Royale be it so!" replied Athos. 

"When?" 

"To-morrow evening, if you please." 

" At w hat hour?" 

" At ten in the evening if that suits you we shall be re 
turned." 

" Good." 

" There," continued Athos, " either peace or war will be 
decided our honor, at all events, will be secured." 

"Alas!" murmured D'Artagnan, "our honor as soldiers is 
lost to us forever! Now, Porthos; now we must hence, to 
bear back our shame on our heads to the cardinal." 

" And tell him," cried a voice, " that I am not too old to 
be still a man of action." 

D'Artagnan recognized the voice of De Rochefort. 

" Can I do anything for you, gentlemen?" asked the duke. 

" Be a witness that we have done what we have done." 

"That shall be done, be assured. Adieu! we shall meet 
soon, I trust, in Paris, where you shall have your revenge." 

The duke, as he spoke, kissed his hand, spurred his horse 
into a gallop, and disappeared, followed by his troop, who 
were soon lost in distance and darkness. 

D'Artagnan and Porthos were now alone with a man who 
held their two horses; they thought it was Mousqueton, and 
went up to him. 

"What do I see?" cried the lieutenant. "Grimaud, is it 
thou?" 

Grimaud signified that he was not mistaken. 

"And whose horses are these?" cried D'Artagnan. 

" Who has given them to us?" said Porthos. 

"The Comtedela Fere." 

"Athos! Athos!" muttered D'Artagnan, "you think of 
every one; you are indeed a gentleman! Where art thou 
bound to, Grimaud ?" 

" To join the Vicomte de Bragelonne in Flanders, your 
honor." 

They were taking the road toward Paris, when groans, 
which seemed to proceed from a ditch, attracted their atten 
tion. 

" What is that?" asked D'Artagnan. 

"It is I, Mousqneton," said a mournful voice, while a sort 
of shadow arose out of the side of the road. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 157 

Porthos ran to him. " Art thou dangerously wounded, my 
dear Monston?" lie said. 

" No, sir, but I am severely wounded." 

" What can we do?" said D'Artagnan; " we must return 
to Paris." 

"I will take care of Mousqueton," said Grimaud; and 
he gave his arm to his old comrade, whose eyes were full 
of tears, and Grimaud could not tell whether the tears 
were caused by his wounds, or by the pleasure of seeing him 
again. 

D'Artagnan and Porthos went on, meantime, to Paris. 
They were passed by a sort of courier, covered with dust, the 
bearer of a letter from the duke to the cardinal, giving testi 
mony to the valor of D'Artaguan and Porthos. 

Mazarin had passed a very bad night, when this letter was 
brought to him, announcing that the duke was free, and that 
he should henceforth raise up a mortal strife against him. 

" What consoles me," said the cardinal, after reading the 
letter, " is, that at least, in this chase, D'Artagnan has done 
me one good turn he has destroyed Broussel. This Gascon 
is a precious fellow even his mishaps are useful." 

The cardinal referred to that man whom D'Artaguan upset 
at the corner of the Cimetiere Saint Jean, in Paris, and who 
was no other than the Councillor Broussel. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE FOUR OLD FRIENDS PREPARE TO MEET AGAIN. 

" WELL," said Porthos, seated in the courtyard of the 
Hotel de la Chevrette, to D'Artagnan, who with a long and 
melancholy face had returned from the Palais Royal, "did 
he receive you ungraciously, my dear friend?" 

" 'Ifaith, yes! a hideous brute that cardinal what are you 
eating there, Porthos?" 

" I am dipping a biscuit into a glass of Spanish wine do 
the same." 

" You are right. Gimblon, a glass of wine!" 

"Well! how has all gone off ?" 

"Zounds! you know there's only one way of saying things; 
BO I went in and I said: 'My lord, we were not the strongest 
party.' 

" ' Yes, I know that/ he said, 'but tell me the particulars/ 

" You know, Porthos, I could not give him the particulars 



158 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

without naming our friends to name them would be to 
commit them to ruin, so I merely said they were fifty and we 
were two." 

"< There was firing, nevertheless, I heard/ he said; 'and 
your swords, they gaw the light of day, I presume?' 

" ' That is, the night, my lord/ I answered. 

" ' All!' cried the cardinal; ' I thought you were a Gascon, 
my friend.' 

" 'I am only a Gascon,' said I, * when I succeed.' So the 
answer pleased, and he laughed." 

" Well, not so bad a reception as I thought," remarked 
Porthos. 

" No, no, but 'tis the manner in which he spoke. Gimblon, 
another bottle of wine 'tis almost incredible what a quantity 
of wine these biscuits will hold." 

"Hem didn't he mention me?" inquired Porthos. 

"Ah! yes, indeed!" cried D'Artagnan, who was afraid of 
disheartening his friend by telling him that the cardinal had 
not breathed a word about him; "yes, surely! he said " 

" He said?" resumed Porthos. 

"Stop, I want to remember his exact words. He said, as 
to your friend, tell him that he may sleep in peace." 

" Good, very good," said Porthos; " that means as clear as 
daylight that he intends still to make me a baron." 

At this moment nine o'clock struck. D'Artagnan started. 

" Ah, yes," said Porthos; " there is nine o'clock. We have 
a rendezvous, you remember, at the Place Royale." 

" Ah! stop! hold your peace, Porthos don't remind me of 
it, 'tis that which has made me so cross since yesterday. I 
shall not go." 

" Why," asked Porthos. 

" Why, suppose this appointment is only a blind? That 
there's something hidden beneath it?" 

D'Artaguan did not believe Athos to bo capable of a 
deception, but he sought an excuse for not going to the 
rendezvous. 

" We must go," said the superb lord of Bracieux, " lest 
they should say we were afraid. We, who have faced fifty 
foes on the highroad, can well meet two in the Place Royale. 

" Yes, yes, but they took part with the princes without 
apprising us of it perhaps the duke may try to catch us in 
his turn." 

" Nonsense! He had us in his power, and let us go. Be 
sides, we can be on our guard let us take arms, and let 
Planchet go with us with his carabine." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 159 

Planchet is a Frondeur." answered D'Artaguan. 

" Devil take these civil wars! one can no more reckon on 
one's friends than on one's footmen," said Porthos; " ah, 
if Mousqueton were here! there's one who will never desert 
me!" 

" So long as you are rich! ah! my friend! 'tis not civil war 
that disunites us! It is that we are, each of us, twenty years 
older; it is that the honest emotions of youth have given place 
to the suggestions of interest to the whispers of ambition 
to the counsels of selfishness. Yes, you are right let us go, 
Porthos! but let us go well armed were we not to go they 
would say we were afraid. Hollo! Plauchet, here! saddle our 
horses take your carabine." 

" Whom are we going to attack, sir?" 

" No one a mere matter of precaution," answered the 
Gascon. 

" You know, sir, that they wished to murder that good 
Councillor Broussel, the father of the people?" 

" Keally, did they?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, but he has been avenged. He was carried home in 
the arms of the people. His house has been full ever since. 
He has received visits from the coadjutor, from Madame de 
Longueville, and the Prince de Conti Madame de Chevreuse 
and Madame de Vendome have left their names at his door." 

" How did you hear this?" inquired D'Artagnau. 

" From a good source, sir I heard it from Friquet." 

" From Friquet? I know that name " 

"A son of Monsieur de Broussel's servant, and a lad that I 
promise you, in a revolt, will not cast away his share to the 
dogs." 

"Is he not a singing boy at Ndtre Dame?" asked D'Artag 
nan. 

" Yes, that's he, patronized by Bnzin." 

" Ah, yes, I know." 

"What importance is this reptile of to you?" asked Porthos. 

"Gad!" replied D'Artagnan; "he has already given me 
good information, and he may do the same again." 

While all this was going on, Athos and Aramis were enter 
ing Paris by the Faubourg St. Antoine. They had taken 
some refreshment on the road, and hastened on that they 
might not fail at the rendezvous. Bazin was their only at 
tendant, for Grimaud had stayed behind to take care of 
Mousqueton. As they were passing onward, Athos proposed 
that they should lay aside their arms and military costume, 
and assume a dress suited to the city. 



160 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Oh, no, dear count!" cried Arauiis, " is it not a warlike 
encounter that we are going to?" 

" What do you mean, Aramis?" 

"That the Place Royale is the termination to the main 
road to Vendomois, and nothing else." 

"How, our friends?" 

" Are become our most dangerous enemies, Athos; let us 
be on our guard." 

"Oh! my dearD'Herblay!" 

" Who can say whether D'Artagnan has not betrayed us to 
the cardinal? who can tell whether Mazarin may not take ad 
vantage of this rendezvous and seize us?" 

Athos folded his arms, and his noble head fell drooping on 
his chest. 

"What do you expect, Athos?" pursued Aramis; "such 
are men, and, remember, they are not always twenty years of 
age; let us take precautions, Athos!" 

" But suppose they come unarmed? what a disgrace to us/' 

" Oh, never fear! besides, if they do, we can make an 
excuse; we come straight from a journey, and are insurgents, 
also." 

"An excuse for us! to meet D'Artagnan with a false ex 
cuse! to have to make a false excuse to Porthos! Oh, Ara 
mis," continued Athos, shaking his head mournfully, " upon 
my soul, you make me the most miserable of men; you disen 
chant a heart not wholly dead to friendship. Go in whatso 
ever guise you will, for my part 1 shall go disarmed." 

" No, for I will not allow you to do so. 'Tis not one man, 
'tis not Athos only, 'tis not the Count de la Fere, whom you 
will ruin by this weakness, but a whole party to whom you 
belong, and who depend upon you." 

" Be it then so," replied Athos sorrowfully. 

And they pursued their road in mournful silence. 

Scarcely had they reached by the Rue de la Mule the iron 
gate of the Place Royale than they perceived three cavaliers, 
D'Artagnan, Porthos, and Planchet, the two former wrapped 
up in their military cloaks, under which their swords were 
hidden, and Planchet, his musket by his side. They were 
waiting at the entrance of the Rue St. Catherine, and their 
horses were fastened to the rings of the arcade. Athos, there 
fore, commanded Bazin to fasten up his horse and that of 
Aramis in the same manner. 

They then advanced, two and two, and saluted each other 
politely. 

"Now, where will it be agreeable to you that we hold our 



TWENTY YEAES AFTER. 161 

conference?" inquired Aramis, perceiving that people were 
stopping to look at them, supposing that they were going to 
engage in one of those far-famed duels still extant in the mem 
ory of the Parisians and especially the inhabitants of the 
Place Royale. 

"The gate is shut/' said Aramis, " but if these gentlemen 
like a cool retreat, under the trees, and a perfect seclusion, I 
will get the key from the Hotel de Rohan, and we shall be 
well situated. 

D'Artagnan darted a look into the obscurity of the place, 
Porthos ventured to put his head between the railings, to try 
if his glance could penetrate tlie gloom. 

" If you prefer any other place," said Athos, in his per 
suasive voice, " choose for yourselves." 

" This place, if Monsieur d'Herblay can procure the key, 
is the best that we can have," was the answer. 

Aramis went off at once, begging Athos not to remain alone 
within reach of D'Artagnan and Porthos; a piece of advice 
which was received with a contemptuous smile. 

Aramis returned soon with a man from the Hotel de Rohan, 
who was saying to him: 

" You swear, sir, that it is not so?" 

" Stop," and Aramis gave him a louis d'or. 

" Ah! you will not swear, my master," said the concierge, 
shaking his head. 

" Well, one can never say what may happen; at present 
these gentlemen are our friends." 

" Yes, certainly," added Athos, "and the other two " 

" You hear that?" said D'Artagnan to Porthos; " he won't 
swear." 

''No?" 

" No; caution, therefore." 

Athos did not lose sight of these two speakers. Aramis 
opened the gate, and faced round in order that D'Artagnan 
and Porthos might enter. In passing through the gate, the 
hilt of the lieutenant's sword was caught in the grating, and 
he was obliged to pull off his cloak; in doing so he showed 
the butt-end of his pistols, and a ray of the moon was reflected 
on the shining metal. 

" Do you see?" whispered Aramis to Athos, touching his 
shoulder with one hand, and pointing with the other to the 
arms which the Gascon wore under his belt. 

"Alas, I do!" replied Athos, with a deep sigh. 

He entered third, and Aramis, who shut the gate after him, 
last. The two serving-men waited without, but, as if they 
likewise mistrusted each other, kept their respective distances. 



162 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE PLACE ROYALE. 

THEY proceeded silently to the center of the Place; but as 
at this very moment the moon had just emerged from behind 
a cloud, it was considered that they might be observed if they 
remained on that spot, and they regained the shade of the 
lime trees. 

There were benches here and there the four gentlemen 
stopped near them; at a sign from Athos, Porthos and D'Ar- 
tagnan sat down, the two others stood in front of them. 

After a few minutes of silent embarrassment, Athos spoke. 

" Gentlemen," he said, "our presence here is a proof of 
our former friendship; not one of us has failed at this 
rendezvous; not one has, therefore, to reproach himself." 

"Hear me, count," replied D'Artagnan; "instead of 
making compliments to each other, let us explain our conduct 
to each other, like men of right and honest hearts. " 

" I wish for nothing more; have you any cause of anger 
against me or Monsieur D'Herblay? If so, speak out," 
answered Athos. 

" I have," replied D'Artagnan. " When I saw you at your 
chateau at Bragelonne, I made certain proposals to you, 
which you perfectly understood; instead of answering me as a 
friend, you played with me as a child : the friendship, there 
fore, that you boast of was not broken yesterday by the shock 
of our swords, but by your dissimulation at your castle." 

" D'Artagnan!" said Athos reproachfully. 

" You asked for candor there it is. You ask what I have 
against you I say it. And I have the same sincerity to show 
you, if you wish, Monsieur D'Herblay; I acted in a similar 
way to you, and you also deceived me; I reproach you with 
nothing, however; 'tis only because Monsieur de la Fere has 
spoken of friendship that I question your conduct." 

"And what do you find in it to blame?" asked Aramis 
haughtily. 

The blood mounted instantly to the temples of D'Artagnan, 
who rose, and replied: 

"I consider it the conduct of a pupil of Jesuits." 

On seeing D'Artagnan rise, Porthos rose also; these four 
men were, therefore, all standing at the same time, with a 
menacing aspect, opposite to each other. 

Upon hearing D'Artagnan's reply, Aramis seemed about to 
draw his sword, when Athos prevented him. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 163 

" D'Artagnan," he said, " you come here to-night, still infu 
riated by our yesterday's adventure. I believed that your 
heart was sufficiently noble to enable a friendship of twenty 
years to be stronger than an affront of a quarter of an hour. 
Coine, do you really think you have anything to say against 
me? say it then; if I am in fault, I will avow my fault." 

The grave and harmonious tones of that beloved voice had 
still over D'Artagnau its ancient influence, while that of 
Aram is, which had become sharp and screaming in his 
moments of ill-humor, irritated him. He answered there 
fore: 

" I think, Monsieur le Comte, that you had something to 
communicate to me at your chateau of Bragelonne, and that 
gentleman" he pointed to Aramis "had also something to 
tell me, when I was in his convent. At that time I was not 
concerned in the adventure during which you barricaded the 
road that I was going; however, because I was prudent, you 
must not take me for a fool. If I had wished to widen the 
breach between those whom Monsieur D'Herblay chooses to 
receive with a rope-ladder, and those whom he receives with 
a wooden ladder, I could have spoken out." 

" What are you meddling with?" cried Aramis, pale with 
anger, suspecting that D'Artagnan had acted as a spy on him, 
and had seen him with Madame de Longueville. 

** I never meddle but with what concerns me, and I know 
how to make belief that I haven't seen what does not concern 
me; but I hate hypocrites, and, among that number, I place 
musketeers who are abbes, and abbes who are musketeers; 
and," he added, turning to Porthos, " here's a gentleman 
who is of the same opinion as myself." 

Porthos, who had not spoken one word, answered merely 
by a word and a gesture. 

He said " yes, and he put his hand on his sword. Aramis 
started back, and drew his. D'Artagnan bent forward, 
ready either to attack, or to stand on his defense. 

Athos at that moment extended his hand with the air of 
supreme command which characterized him alone, drew out 
his sword and the scabbard at the same time, broke the blade 
in the sheath on his knee, and threw the pieces to his right. 
Then turning to Aramis: 

" Aramis," he said, " break your sword in two." 

Aramis hesitated. 

" It must be done," said Athos; then in a lower and more 
gentle voice, he added, " I wish it." 

Then Aramis, paler than before, but subdued by these 



164 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

words, broke the flexible blade with his hands, and then, fold 
ing his arms, stood trembling with rage. 

These proceedings made D'Artagnan and Porthos draw 
back. D'Artagnan did not draw his sword; Porthos put his 
back into the sheath. 

"Never!" exclaimed Athos, raising his right hand to 
heaven. " Never! I swear before God, who seeth us, and who 
in the darkness of this night heareth us, never shall my sword 
cross yours, never my eye cast a glance of anger, nor my 
heart a throb of hatred, to you. We lived together, we loved, 
we hated together; we shed, we mingled our blood together, 
and, too probably, I may still add, that there may be yet a 
bond between us closer even than that of friendship per 
haps there may be the bond of crime; for we four, we once 
did condemn, judge, and slay a human being whom we had 
not any right to cut off from this world, although apparently 
fitter for hell than for this life. D'Artagnan, I have always 
loved you as tny son; Porthos, we slept six years side by side; 
Aramis is your brother as well as mine, and Aramis has once 
loved you, as I love you now, and as I have ever loved you. 
What can Cardinal Mazarin be to us, who compelled such a 
man as Richelieu to act as we pleased? What is such or such 
a prince to us, who have fixed on the queen's head the crown? 
D'Artagnan, I ask your pardon for having yesterday crossed 
swords with you; Aramis does the same to Porthos; now, hate 
me if you can; but for my own part, I shall ever, even if you 
do hate me, retain esteem and friendship for you; repeat my 
words, Aramis, and then, if you desire it, and if they desire 
it, let us separate forever from our old friends." 

There was a solemn, though momentary, silence, which 
was broken by Aramis. 

"I swear," he said, with a calm brow, and kindly glance, 
but in a voice still trembling with recent emotion, " I swear 
that I no longer bear animosity to those who were once my 
friends. I regret that I ever crossed swords with yon, 
Porthos; I swear not only that it shall never again be pointed 
at your breast, but that in the bottom of my heart there will 
never in future be the slightest hostile sentiment; now, Athoy, 
come." 

Athos was about to retire. 

" Oh! no! no! do not go away!" cried D'Artagnan, impelled 
by one of those irresistible impulses which showed the ardor 
of his nature, and the native uprightness of his character: "I 
swear that I would shed the last drop of my blood, and the 
last fragment of my limbs, to preserve the friendship of uch 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 165 

a man as you, Athos of such a man as you, Aramis." And 
he threw himself into the arms of Athos. 

" My son I" exclaimed Athos, pressing him in his arms. 

"And as for me!" said Porthos, " I swear nothing, but 
I'm choked forsooth! If I were obliged to fight against 
you, I think I should allow myself to be pierced through and 
through for I never loved any one but you in the world;" 
and honest Porthos burst into tears, as he embraced Athos. 

" My friends," said Athos, " this is what I expected from 
such hearts as yours yes I have said it and I now repeat 
it! our destinies are irrevocably united, although we pursue 
different roads. I respect your convictions; and while we 
fight for opposite sides, let us remain friends. Ministers, 
princes, kings will pass away like a torrent; civil war, like a 
flame; but we we shall remain; I have a presentiment that 
we shall." 

"Yes," replied D'Artagnan, "let us still be musketeers, 
and let us retain as our colors that famous napkin of the bas 
tion Saint Gervais on which the great cardinal had three 
fleurs-de-lis embroidered." 

" Be it so," cried Aramis, " Cardinalists or Frondeurs, 
what matters it let us meet again our capital seconds at a 
duel our devoted friends in business our merry companions 
in pleasure." 

"And whenever," added Athos, "we meet in battle, at 
this word 'Place Royale!' let us put our swords into our 
left hands, and shake hands with the right even in the very 
thick of the carnage." 

" You speak charmingly," said Porthos. 

"And are the first of men!" added D'Artagnan. "You 
excel us all!" 

Athos smiled with ineffable pleasure. 

" 'Tis then all settled gentlemen, your hands are you not 
pretty good Christians?" 

" Egad!" said D'Artagnan, "by heaven yes." 

" We should be so on this occasion, if only to be faithful to 
our oath," said Aramis. 

" Ah, Fm ready to do what you will," cried Porthos " to 
swear by Mahomet devil take me if I've ever been so happy 
as at this moment." 

And he wiped his eyes, still moist. 

"Has not one of you a cross?" asked Athos. 

Aramis smiled, and drew from his vest a cross of diamonds, 
which was hung round his neck by a cross of pearls. " Here 
is one," he said. 



166 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Well, resumed Athos, " swear on this cross, which, in 
spite of its material, is still across; swear to be united in spite 
of everything, and forever, and may this oath bind us to 
each other and even, also, our descendants! Does this oath 
satisfy you?" 

" Yes!" said they all with one accord. 

"Ah! traitor!" muttered D'Artagnan to himself, leaning 
toward Aramis, and whispering in his ear, "you have made 
us swear on the crucifix of a Frondeuse." 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE FERRY OVER THE OISE. 

WE hope that the reader has not quite forgotten the young 
traveler whom we left on the road to Flanders. 

In losing sight of his guardian, whom he had quitted, gaz 
ing after him in front of the royal Basilica, Raoul spurred on 
his horse, in order not only to escape from his own melan 
choly reflections, but also to hide from Olivain the emotion 
which his face might betray. 

One hour's rapid progress, however, sufficed to disperse the 
gloomy fancies which had clouded the young man's bright 
anticipations; and the hitherto unknown pleasure of freedom 
a pleasure which has its sweetness even for those who have 
never suffered from dependence seemed to gild for Raoul, 
not only both heaven and earth, but especially that blue, dis 
tant horizon of life which we call the future. 

Nevertheless, after several attempts at conversation with 
Olivain, he foresaw that many long days passed thus would be 
very dull; and the count's agreeable voice, his gentle and 
persuasive eloquence, recurred to his mind, at the various 
towns through which they journeyed, and about which he had 
no longer any one to give him those interesting details which he 
would have drawn from Athos, the most amusing and the best 
informed of guides. Another recollection contributed also to 
sadden Raoul: on their arrival at Sonores, he had perceived, 
hidden between a screen of poplars, a little chateau, which so 
vividly recalled that of La Vallie're to his mind, that he had 
halted for nearly ten minutes to gaze at it, and had resumed 
his journey with a sigh, too abstracted even to reply to 
Olivain's respectful inquiry about the cause of this fixed at 
tention. The aspect of external objects is often a mysterious 
guide communicating with the fibers of memory, which, in 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 167 

spite of us, will arouse them at times; this thread, like that 
of Ariadne, when once unraveled, will conduct one through 
a labyrinth of thought, in which one loses one's self in en 
deavoring to follow that phantom of the past which is called 
recollection. 

Now the sight of this chateau had taken Raoul back fifty 
leagues westward, and had caused him to review his life from 
the moment when he had taken leave of little Louise to that 
in which he had seen her for the first time; and every branch 
of oak, every weathercock seen on a roof of slates, reminded 
him, that instead of returning to the friends of his childhood, 
every instant removed him further from them, and that per 
haps he had even left them forever. 

With a full heart and burning head, he desired Olivain to 
lead on the horses to a little inn, which he observed by the 
wayside within gunshot range, a little in advance of the 
place they had reached. 

As for himself, he dismounted, and remained under a 
beautiful group of chestnuts in flower, among which were 
murmuring multitudes of bees, and bade Olivain send the 
host to him with writing-paper and ink, to be placed on a 
table which he found there, conveniently ready for writing. 
Olivain obeyed and continued his road, while Raoul remained 
sitting with his elbow leaning on the table, from time to time 
gently shaking the flowers from his head, which fell upon 
him like snow, and gazing vaguely on the pretty landscape 
before him, dotted over with green fields and groups of trees. 

Raoul had been there about ten minutes, during five out 
of which he was lost in reverie, when there appeared within 
the circle comprised in his wandering gaze a rubicund figure, 
who, with a napkin round his body, another under his arm, 
and a white cap upon his head, approached him, holding 
paper, pen, and ink in his hand. 

" Ah! ah!" said the apparition, " every gentleman seems 
to have the same fancy, for, not a quarter of an hour ago, a 
young lad, well-mounted like you, as tall as you, and about 
your age, halted before this clump of trees, and had this 
table and this chair brought here, and dined here with an 
old gentleman who seemed to be his tutor upon a pie, of 
which they haven't left a mouthful, and a bottle of Macon 
wine, of which they haven't left a drop; but fortunately we 
have still got some of the same wine, and some of the same 
pies left, and if your worship will only give your orders " 

" No, friend," replied Raoul, smiling, " I am obliged to 
you, but at this moment I want nothing but the things for 



168 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

which I have asked; only I shall be very glad if the ink 
prove black, and the pen good; upon these conditions I 
will pay for the pen the price of the bottle, and for the ink 
the price of the pie." 

" Very well, sir," said the host, " I'll give the pie and the 
bottle of wine to your servant, and in this way you will have 
the pen and ink into the bargain." 

" Do as you like," said Raoul, who was beginning his ap 
prenticeship with that particular class of society, who, when 
there were robbers on the high roads, were connected with 
them, and who, since highwaymen no longer exist, have ad 
vantageously supplied their place. 

The host, his mind quite at ease about the bill, placed pen, 
ink, and paper upon the table. By a lucky chance the pen 
was tolerably good, and Kaoul began to write. The host re 
mained standing in front of him, looking with a kind of in 
voluntary admiration at his handsome face, combining both 
gravity and sweetness of expression. Beauty has always been, 
and always will be, all powerful. 

" He's not a guest like the other one here just now," ob 
served mine host to Olivain, who had rejoined his master to 
see if he wanted anything, " and your young master has no 
appetite." 

" My master had appetite enough three days ago; but what 
can one do? he lost it the day before yesterday." 

And Olivain and the host took their way together toward 
the inn. Olivain, according to the custom of grooms con 
tented with their places, relating to the tavern-keeper all 
that he thought he could say about the young gentleman; 
and Raoul wrote on thus: 

" SIR: After a few hours' march I stop to write to you, 
for I miss you every moment, and I am always on the point 
of turning my head as if to reply when you speak to me. I 
was so bewildered by your departure, and so overcome with 
grief at our separation, that I but very feebly expressed all 
the affection and the gratitude that I feel toward you. You 
will forgive me, sir, for your heart is of such a generous na 
ture, that you can well understand all that passed in mine. 
I entreat you to write to me, for you form a part of my ex 
istence, and if I may venture to tell you so, I also feel anx 
ious. It seemed to me as if you were yourself preparing for 
some dangerous undertaking, about which 1 did not dare to 
question you, since you had told me nothing. I have, there 
fore, as you see, great need to hear from you. Now that you 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 169 

are no longer beside me, I am afraid every moment of erring. 
You sustained me powerfully, sir, and I protest to you that 
to-day I feel very lonely. Will you have the goodness, sir, 
should you receive news from Blois, to send me a few lines 
about my little friend, Mademoiselle de la Valli^re, about 
whose health, when we left, some anxiety was felt? Yon can 
understand, honored and dear guardian, how precious and 
indispensable to me is the remembrance of the time that I 
have passed with you. I hope that you will sometimes, too, 
think of me, and if at certain hours you should miss me, if 
you should feel any slight regret at my absence, I shall be 
overwhelmed with joy at the thought that you have appreci 
ated my affection and my devotion for yourself, and that I 
have been able to prove them to you while I had the happi 
ness of living with you." 

After finishing this letter, Raoul felt more composed; he 
looked well around him to see if Olivain and the host were 
not watching him, while he impressed a kiss upon the paper, 
a mute and touching caress, which the heart of Athos might 
well divine on opening the letter. 

During this time Olivain had finished his bottle and eaten 
his pie; the horses also were refreshed. Raoul motioned the 
host to approach, threw a crown down on the table, mounted 
his horse, and posted his letter at Senlis. The rest that had 
been thus afforded to men and horses enabled them to con 
tinue their journey without stopping. At Verberie, Raoul 
desired Olivain to make some inquiry about the young man 
who^was preceding them; he had been observed to pass only 
three-quarters of an hour previously, but he was well- 
mounted, as the tavern-keeper had already said, and rode at 
a rapid pace. 

" Let us try to overtake this gentleman/' said Raoul to 
Olivain; '.'like ourselves, he is on his way to join the army, 
and may prove agreeable company." 

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when Raoul 
arrived at Compidgne; there he dined heartily, and again 
inquired about the young gentleman who was in advance of 
them. He had stopped, like Raoul, at the hotel of the 
Bell and Bottle, the best at Compi^gne, and had started 
ag;iin on his journey, saying that he should sleep at 
Noyon. 

" Well, let us sleep at Noyon," said Raoul. 

" Sir/' replied Olivain respectfully, "allow me to remark 
that we have already much fatigued the horses this momiug. 
8 D i- MAS VOL. XIII. 



170 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

I think it would be well to sleep here, .and to start again 
very early to-morrow. Eighteen leagues is enough for the 
first stage." 

" The Count de la F6re wished me to hasten on," replied 
Raaul, "that I might rejoin the prince on the morning of 
the fourth day; let us push on, then, to Noyon, it will be a 
stage similar to those that we traveled from Blois to Paris. 
We shall arrive at eight o'clock. The horses will have a long 
night's rest, and at five o'clock to-ruorrovv morning we can be 
again on the road." 

Olivain dared offer no opposition to this determination; but 
he followed his master grumbling. 

" Go on, go on," said he, between his teeth, " expend your 
ardor the first day; to-morrow, instead of journeying twenty 
miles, you will do ten; the day after to-morrow, five, and in 
three days you will be in bed. There you must rest; all these 
young people are such braggarts." 

It is easy to see that Olivain had not been taught in the 
school of the Planchets and the Grimauds. Raoul really felt 
tired; but he was desirous of testing his strength, and, 
brought up in the principles of Athos, and certain of having 
heard him speak a thousand times of stages of twenty-five 
leagues, he did not wish to fall short of his model. D'Artag- 
nan, that man of iron, who seemed to be made of nerve and 
muscle only, had struck him- with admiration. Therefore, in 
spite of all Olivain's remarks, he continued to urge on his 
steed more and more, and following a pleasant little path, 
leading to a ferry, and which he had been assured shortened 
the journey by the distance of one league, he arrived at the 
summit of a hill, and perceived the river flowing before him. 
A little troop of men on horseback were waiting on the edge of 
the stream, ready to embark. Raoul did not doubt that this 
was the gentleman and his escort: he called out to him, but he 
was too distant to be heard; then, in spite of the weariness of 
his beast, he made it gallop; but the rising ground soon de 
prived him of the sight of the travelers, and when he had 
again attained a new height, the ferryboat had left the shore 
and was making for the opposite bank. Raoul seeing that he 
could not arrive in time to cross the ferry with the travelers, 
halted to wait for Olivain. At this moment a shriek was 
heard which seemed to come from the river. Raoul turned 
toward the side whence the cry had sounded, and shaded 
his eyes from the glare of the setting sun with his hand. 

" Olivain!" he exclaimed, "what do I see below there?" 

A second scream, more piercing than the first, now 
Bounded. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 171 

"Oh, sir!" cried Olivain, " the rope which holds the ferry 
boat lias broken, and the boat is drifting away. But what do 
I see in the water? something struggling." 

" Oh! yes," exclaimed Raoul, fixing his glance on one point 
in the stream, splendidly illumined by the setting sun, " a 
horse, a rider!" 

" They are sinking!" cried Olivain in his turn. 

It was true, and Raoul was convinced that some accident 
had happened, and that a man was drowning; he gave his 
horse its head, struck his spurs into its sides, and the animal, 
urged on by pain, and feeling that he had space open before 
him, bounded over a kind of paling which inclosed the land 
ing place, and fell into the river, scattering to a distance 
waves of white froth. 

"Ah, sir!" cried Olivain, "what are you doing? Good 
God!" 

Raoul was directing his horse toward the unhappy man in 
danger. This was, in fact, a custom familiar to him. Hav 
ing been brought up on the banks of the Loire, he might 
have been said to have been cradled on its waves; a hundred 
times he had crossed it on horseback, a thousand times he 
had swum across. Athos, foreseeing the period when he 
should make a soldier of the viscount, had inured him to all 
these kinds of undertakings. 

"Oh, heavens!" continued Olivain, in despair, "what 
would the count say if he only saw you?" 

"The count would do as I do," replied Raoul, urging his 
horse vigorously forward. 

" But I but I," cried Olivain, pale and disconsolate, rush 
ing about on the shore, " how shall I cross?" 

"Leap, coward," cried Raoul, swimming on; then address 
ing the traveler, who was struggling twenty yards in advance 
of him, " Courage, sir," said he, " courage, we are coming to 
your aid." 

Olivain advanced, retired, then made his horse rear turned 
it, and then, struck to the core by shame, leaped, as Raoul had 
done, only repeating: 

" I am a dead man; we are lost!" 

In the meantime the ferryboat floated away, carried down 
by the stream; and the shrieks of those whom it contained 
resounded more and more. A man with gray hair had thrown 
himself from the boat into the river, and was swimming vig 
orously toward the person who was drowning; but being 
obliged to go against the current, he advanced but slowly. 
Raoul continued his way, and was visibly gaining the shore; 



172 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

but the horse and its rider, of whom he did not lose sight, 
were evidently sinking. The nostrils of the horse were no 
longer above water, and the rider, who had lost the reins in 
struggling, fell with his head back and his arms extended. 
One moment longer, and all had disappeared. 

" Courage," cried Raoul, "courage. 

" Too late!" murmured the young man, " too late!" 

The water passed over his head, and stifled his voice in his 
mouth. 

Raoul sprang from his horse, to which he had left thr 
charge of its own preservation, and in three or four strokes 
was at the gentleman's side; he seized the horse at once by 
the curb, and raised its head above water. The animal then 
breathed more freely, and as if he comprehended that they 
had come to his aid, redoubled his efforts. Raoul at the same 
time seized one of the young man's hands, and placed it on 
the mane, at which it grasped with the tenacity of a drown 
ing man. Thus, sure that the rider would not release his 
hold, Raoul now only directed his attention to the horse, 
which he guided to the opposite bank, helping it to cut 
through the water, and encouraging it with words. 

All at once the horse stumbled against a ridge, and then 
placed its foot on the sand. 

" Saved!" exclaimed the man with gray hair, who sprang 
on land in his turn. 

" Saved!" mechanically repeated the young gentleman, re 
leasing the mane, and gliding from the saddle into Baoul's 
arms; Raoul was but ten yards from the shore: he bore the 
fainting man there, and laying him down on the grass, un 
fastened the buttons of his collar, and unhooked his doublet 
A moment later the gray-headed man was beside him. Oli- 
vain managed in his turn to land, after crossing himself 
repeatedly, and the people in the ferryboat guided them 
selves as well as they were able toward the bank, with the aid 
of a hook which chanced to be in the boat. 

Thanks to the attention of Raoul, and the man who accom 
panied the young gentleman, the color gradually returned to 
the pale cheeks of the dying man, who opened two eyes at 
first bewildered, but who soon fixed his glance upon the per 
son who had saved him. 

"Ah, sir," he exclaimed, "it was you I wanted; without 
you I was a dead man thrice dead." 

" But one recovers, sir, as you see," replied Raoul, "and 
we shall but have had a bath." 

" Oh! sir, what gratitude I feel," exclaimed the ni;in wit.'; 
gray hair. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 173 

" Ah, there you are, my good D'Arminges, I have given 
yon a great fright, have I not? but it is your own fault; you 
were my tutor, why did you not teach me to swim better?" 

" Oh, sir!" replied the old man, "had any misfortune hap 
pened to you, I should never have dared to have shown my 
self to the marshal again." 

" But how did the accident happen?" asked Raoul. 

" Oh, sir, in the most natural manner possible," replied he 
to whom they had given the title of count. " We were about 
a third of the way across the river when the cord of the ferry 
boat broke. .Alarmed by the cries and the gestures of the 
boatmen, my horse sprang into the water. I swim badly, 
and dared not throw myself into the river. Instead of aiding 
the movements of my horse, I paralyzed them; and I was just 
going to drown myself, with the best grace in the world, when 
yon arrived just in time to pull me out of the water; there 
fore, sir, if you will agree, henceforth we are friends in life 
until death." 

"Sir," replied Raoul, bowing, "I am entirely at your 
service, I assure you." 

" I am called the Count de Guiche," continued the young 
man; " my father is the Marechal de Grammont; and now 
that you know who I am, do me the honor to inform me who 
you are." 

" I am the Viscount de Bragelonne," answered Raoul, 
blushing at being unable to name his father, as the Count de 
Guiche had done. 

" Viscount, your countenance, your goodness, and your 
courage incline me toward you; my gratitude is already due 
to you shake hands I ask your friendship." 

" Sir," said Raoul, returning the count's pressure of the 
hand, " I like you already from my heart; pray regard me as 
a devoted friend, I beseech you." 

"And now, where are you going, viscount?" inquired De 
Guiche. 

"To the army, under the prince, count." 

" And I too," exclaimed the young man, in a transport of 
joy. " Oh, so much the better; we shall fire off the first 
pistol-shot together." 

"It is well be friends," said the tutor; "young as you 
both are, you were perhaps born under the same star, and 
were destined to meet. "And now," continued he, "you 
must change your clothes; your servants, to whom I gave 
directions the moment they had left the ferryboat, ought to 
be already at the inn. Linen and wine are both being warmed 
come." 



174 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The young men had no objection to make to this prop 
osition; on the contrary, they thought it an excellent one. 
They mounted again at once, while looks of admiration 
passed between them. They were indeed two elegant horse 
men, with figures slight and upright two noble faces, with 
open foreheads bright and proud looks loyal and intelligent 
smiles. 

De Guiche might have been about eighteen years of age; 
but he wus scarcely taller than Raoul, who was only fifteen. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

SKIRMISHING. 

THE halt at Noyon was short, every one there being wrapped 
(n profound sleep. Raoul had desired to be awakened should 
Grimaud have arrived but Grimaud did not arrive. Doubt 
less, too, the horses, on their parts, appreciated the eight 
hours of repose, and the abundant stabling which was granted 
to them. The Count de Guiche was awakened at five o'clock 
in the morning by Raoul, who came to wish him good-day. 
They had breakfast in haste, and at- six o'clock had already 
gone ten miles. 

The young count's conversation was most interesting to 
Raoul; therefore he listened much, while the count talked 
much. Brought up in Paris, where Raoul had been but once; 
at the court, which Raoul had never seen his follies as page 
two duels, which he had already found the means of fight 
ing, in spite of the edicts against them, and more especially 
in spite of his tutor's vigilance these things excited the 
greatest curiosity in Raoul. Raoul had only been at M. 
Scarrou's house; he named to De Guiche the people whom he 
had seen there. De Guiche knew everybody: Madame de 
Muillan, Mademoiselle D'Aubign6, Mademoiselle de Scudery, 
Mademoiselle Paulet, Madame de Chevreuse. He criticised 
everybody humorously. Raoul trembled lest he should laugh 
among the rest at Madame de Chevreuse, for whom he en 
tertained deep and genuine sympathy, but either instinctively, 
or from affection for the Duchesse de Chevreuse, he said 
everything possible in her favor. His praises increased Raoul's 
friendship for him twofold. Then came the question of gal 
lantry and love affairs. Tinder this head also, Bragelonne 
had much more to hear than to tell. He listened attentively, 
and fancied that he discovered tli rough three or four rather 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 175 

frivolous adventures, that the count, like himself, had a secret 
to hide in the depths of his heart. 

De Guiche, as we have said before, had been educated at 
the court, and the intrigues of this court were known to him. 
It was the same court of which Raoul had so often heard 
the Count de la Fere speak, except that its aspects had much 
changed since the period when Athos had himself witnessed 
it; therefore everything which the Count de Guiche related 
was new to his traveling companion. The young count, 
witty and caustic, passed all the world in review; the queen 
herself was not spared, and Cardinal Mazariu came in for his 
share of ridicule. 

The day passed away as rapidly as one hour. The count's 
tutor, a man of the world, and a bon vivant, up to his eyes 
in learning, as his pupil described him, often recalled the 
profound erudition, the witty and caustic satire, of Athos to 
Raoul; but as regarded grace, delicacy, and nobility of external 
appearance, no one in these points was to be compared to the 
Count de la Fere. 

The horses, which were better cared for than on the pre 
vious day, stopped at Arras at four o'clock in the evening. 
They were approaching the scene of war; and as bands of 
Spaniards sometimes took advantage of the night to make 
expeditions even as far as the neighborhood of Arras, they 
determined to remain in this town until the morrow. The 
French army held all between Pont-a-Mare as far as Valen 
ciennes, falling back upon Douai. The prince was said to be 
in person at Bethune. 

The enemy's army extended from Cassel to Courtray; and 
as there was no species of violence or pillage which it did not 
commit, the poor people on the frontier quitted their isolated 
dwellings, and fled for refuge into the strong cities which held 
out a shelter to them. Arras was encumbered with fugitives. 
An approaching battle was much spoken of, the prince hav 
ing maneuvered until that moment, only in order to await a 
reinforcement, which had just reached him. 

The young men congratulated themselves on having ar 
rived so opportunely. The evening was employed in discus 
sing the war; the grooms polished the arms; the young men 
loaded the pistols in case of a skirmish, and they awoke in 
despair, having both dreamed that they had arrived too late to 
participate in the battle. In the morning it was rumored 
that Prince Conde had evacuated Bethune, and fallen back 
upon Carvin, leaving, however, a strong garrison in the 
former city. 



176 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

But as there was nothing positively certain in his report, 
the young men decided to continue their way toward Bethune, 
free, on the road, to diverge to the right, and to march to 
Carvin if necessary. 

The count's tutor was well acquainted with the country; 
he consequently proposed to take a cross road, which lay be 
tween that of Lens and that of Bethune. They obtained in 
formation at Ablain, and a statement of their route was left 
for Grimaud. About seven o'clock in the morning they set 
out. De Quiche, who was young and impulsive, said to 
Raoul, " Here we are, three masters and three servants. Our 
valets are well armed, and yours seems to be tough enough.'* 

"I have never seen him put to the test," replied Raoul, 
" but he is a Breton, which promises something." 

" Yes, yes," resumed De Guiche; " I am sure he can fire a 
musket when required. On my side, I have two very sure 
men, who have been in action with my father. We, there 
fore, represent six fighting men: if we should meet a little 
troop of enemies, equal or even superior in number to our 
own, shall we charge them, Raoul?" 

" Certainly, sir," replied the viscount. 

"Holloa! young people stop there!" said the tutor, join 
ing in the conversation. "Zounds! how do you arrange my 
instructions, pray, count? You seem to forget the orders I 
received to conduct you safe and sound to his highness the 
prince! Once with the army, you may be killed at your good 
pleasure; but, until that time, I warn you, that in my capac 
ity of general of the army, I shall order a retreat, and turn 
my back on the first red coat I see. 

De Guiche and Raoul glanced at each other, smiling. 

They arrived at Ablain without accident. There they in 
quired, and learned that the prince had in reality quitted 
Bethune, and placed himself between Cambria and La Vt-n- 
thie. Therefore, leaving directions at every place for Gri 
maud, they took a cross road, which conducted the little 
troop upon the bank of a small stream flowing into the Lys. 
The country was beautiful, intersected by valleys as green as 
the emerald. Every here and there they passed little copses 
crossing the path which they were following. In anticipa 
tion of some ambuscade in each of these little woods, the tutor 
placed his two servants at the head of the band, thus forming 
the advance guard. Himself and the two young men repre 
sented the body of the army, while Olivain, with his rifle on 
his knee, and his eye on the watch, protected the rear. 

They had observed for some time before them on the 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 177 

horizon a rather thick wood; and when they had arrived at a 
distance of a hundred steps from it, Monsieur d'Armingea 
took his usual precautions, and sent on in advance the count's 
two grooms. The servants had just disappeared under the 
trees, followed by the tutor, and the young men were laugh 
ing and talking about a hundred yards off. Olivain was at 
the same distance in the rear, when suddenly there resounded 
five or six musket-shots. The tutor cried halt; the young 
men obeyed, pulling up their steeds, and at the same moment 
the two valets were seen returning at a gallop. 

The young men, impatient to learn the cause of the 
firing, spurred on toward the servants. The tutor followed 
them behind. 

" Were you stopped?" eagerly inquired the two youths. 

" No," replied the servants, " it is even probable that we 
have not been seen; the shots were fired about a hundred 
steps in advance of us, almost in the thickest part of the 
wood, and we returned to ask your advice." 

"My advice," said Monsieur d'Arminges, "and, if needs 
be, my will is, that we beat a retreat. There may be an 
ambuscade concealed in this wood." 

" Did you see nothing there?" asked the count. 

" I thought I saw," said one of the servants, " horsemen 
dressed in yellow, creeping along the bed of the stream." 

" That's it," said the tutor. "We have fallen in with a 
party of Spaniards. Come back, sirs back." 

The two youths looked at each other, and at this moment a 
pistol-shot and several cries for help were heard. Another 
glance between the young men convinced them both that 
neither had any wish to go back, and as the tutor had already 
turned his horse's head, they both spurred on forward, Raoul 
crying, "Follow me, Olivain;" and Count de Guiche, 
" Follow, Urban and Blanchet." And before the tutor could 
recover his surprise, they had both disappeared into the forest. 
When they spurred their steeds, they held their pistols ready 
also. Five minutes after they arrived at the spot whence the 
noise had proceeded; therefore, restraining their horses, they 
advanced cautiously. 

" Hush," whispered De Guiche: " these are cavaliers." 

" Yes, three on horseback, and three who have dis 
mounted." 

" Can you see what they are doing?" 

" Yes, they appear to be searching a wounded or dead 
man." 

" It is some cowardly assassination," said De Guiche. 



178 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"They are soldiers, though," resumed De Bragelonne. 

" Yes, skirmishers; that is to say, highway robbers." 

" At them!" cried Uaoul. " At them !" echoed De Guiche. 

"Oh! sirs, sirs; in the name of heaven!" cried the poor 
tutor. 

But he was not listened to, and his cries only served to 
arouse the attention of the Spaniards. 

The men on horseback at once rushed at the two youths, 
leaving the three others to complete the plunder of the two 
travelers; for, on approaching nearer, instead of one extended 
figure, the young, men discovered two. De Guiche fired the 
first shot at ten paces, and missed his man; and the Spaniard, 
who had advanced to meet Raoul, aimed in his turn, and 
Raoul felt a pain in his left arm, similar to that of a blow 
from a whip. He let off his fire at but four paces. Struck 
in the breast, and extending his arms, the Spaniard fell back 
on the croup of his horse, which, turning round, carried him 
off. 

Raoul, at this moment, perceived the muzzle of a gun 
pointed at him, and remembering the recommendation of 
Athos, he, with the rapidity of lightning, made his horse rear 
as the shot was fired. His horse bounded to one side, losing 
its footing, and fell, entangling Raoul's leg under its body. 
The Spaniard sprang forward, and seized the gun by its 
muzzle, in order to strike Raoul on the head by the butt-end. 
In the position in which Raoul lay, unfortunately, he could 
neither draw his sword from the scabbard, nor his pistols 
from their holsters. The butt-end of the musket hovered 
over his head, and he could scarcely restrain himself from 
closing his eyes, when, with one bound, De Guiche reached 
the Spaniard, and placed a pistol at his throat. " Yield!'* 
he cried, "or you are a dead man." The musket fell from 
the soldier's hands, who yielded at the instant. 

De Guiche summoned one of his grooms, and delivering the 
prisoner into his charge, with orders to shoot him through 
the head if he attempted to escape, he leaped from his horse 
and approached Raoul. 

" Faith, sir," said Raoul, smiling, although his pallor some 
what betrayed the excitement consequent on a first affair 
"you are in a great hurry to pay your debts, and have not 
been long under any obligation to me. Without your aid," 
continued he, repeating the count's words, "I should have 
been a dead man thrice dead." 

" My antagonist took flight," replied De Guiche, " and left 
me at liberty to come to your aid. But you are seriously 
wounded? I see you are covered with blood!" 



TWENTY Y-EARS AFTEB. 179 

" I believe/' said Eaoul, " that I have got something like 
a scratch on the arm. If you will help me to drag myself 
from under my horse, I hope nothing need prevent us con 
tinuing our journey." 

Monsieur d'Arminges and Olivaiuhad already dismounted, 
and were attempting to raise the horse, which struggled in 
terror. At last Raoul succeeded in drawing his foot from the 
stirrup, and his leg from under the animal, and in a second 
he was on his feet again. 

"Nothing broken?" asked De Guiche. 

"Faith, no, thank heaven!" replied Raoul; "but what 
has become of the poor wretches whom these scoundrels were 
murdering?" 

" I fear we arrived too late. They had killed them and 
taken flight, carrying off their booty. My two servants are 
examining the bodies." 

" Let us go and see whether they are quite dead, or if they 
can be recovered," suggested Raoul. " Olivain, we have come 
into possession of two horses, but I have lost my own; take 
the best of the two for yourself, and give me yours." 

Saying this, they approached the spot where the victims lay. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE MONK. 

Two men lay extended on the ground; one bathed in his 
blood, and motionless, with his face toward the earth; he was 
dead. The other leaned against the tree, supported there by 
the two valets, and was praying fervently, with clasped hands, 
his eyes raised to heaven. He had received a ball in hie 
thigh, which had broken the upper part of it. The young 
men first approached the dead man. 

" He is a priest," said Bragelonne, " he has worn the ton 
sure. Oh, the scoundrels! to lift their hands against the 
minister of God." 

"Come here, sir," said Urban, an old soldier who had 
served under the cardinal-duke in all his campaigns. " Come 
here, there is nothing to be done with him; while we may 
perhaps be able to save this one/' 

The wounded man smiled sadly. "Save me! oh no," 
said he; " but help me to die, you can." 

" Are you a priest?" asked Raoul. 

" No, sir." 



180 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

" I ask, as your unfortunate companion appeared to me to 
belong to the church." 

" Ete is the curate of Bethune, sir, andwas carrying the holy 
vessels belonging to his church, and the treasure of the 
chapter, to a safe place, the prince having abandoned our 
town yesterday; and as it was known that bands of the 
enemy were prowling about the country, no one dared to ac 
company the good man, so I offered to do so." 

" And, sir," continued the wounded man, " I suffer much, 
and would like, if possible, to be carried to some house." 

" Where you can be relieved?" asked De Guiche. 

" No, where I can confess myself." 

" But perhaps you are not so dangerously wounded as you 
think," said fiaoul. 

" Sir," replied the wounded man, "believe me there is no 
time to lose; the ball has broken my thigh bone, and entered 
the intestines." 

" Are you a surgeon?" asked De Guiche. 

" No, but I know a little about wounds, and mine is mor 
tal. Try, therefore, either to carry me to some place where 
I may see a priest, or take the trouble to send one to me 
here. It is my soul that must be saved; as for my body, that 
is lost. 

"Good God! good God!" added the wounded man, in an 
accent of terror which made the young man shudder; " you 
will not allow me to die without receiving absolution? that 
would be too terrible!" 

" Calm yourself, sir," replied De Guiche. " I swear to you 
that you shall receive the consolation that you ask. Only "tell 
us where we shall find a house at which we can demand aid, 
and a village from which we can fetch a priest." 

"Thank you, and God will reward you! About half a 
mile from this, on the same road, there is an inn; and about 
a mile further on, after leaving the inn, you will reach the 
village of Greney. There you must find the curate, or if he is 
not at home, go to the convent of the Augustins, which is the 
last house on the right in the village, and bring me one of the 
brothers. Monk or priest, it matters not, provided he have 
received from our holy church the power of absolving in ar- 
ticulo mortis." 

" Monsieur d'Arminges," said De Guiche, " remain beside 
this unfortunate man, and see that he is removed as gently 
as possible. The vicomte and myself will go and find a 
priest. " 

" Go, sir," replied the tutor; " but, in heaven's name, do 
not expose yourself to danger!" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 181 

" Do not fear. Besides, we are safe to-day; you know the 
axiom Norn bis in idem." 

"Courage, sir," said Raoul to the wounded man. "We 
are going to execute your wishes." 

" May heaven prosper you!" replied the dying man, with an 
accent of gratitude impossible to describe. 

'Che two young men galloped off in tke direction men 
tioned to them, and ten minutes after reached the inn. 
Raoul, without dismounting, called to the host, and an 
nounced that a wounded man was about to be brought to his 
house, and begged him in the meantime to prepare everything 
necessary for dressing his wounds. He desired him also, should 
lie know in the neighborhood any doctor, surgeon, or opera 
tor, to fetch him, taking on himself the payment of the mes 
senger. Raoul had already proceeded for more than a mile, 
and had begun to descry the first houses of the village, the 
red tiled roofs of which stood out strongly from the green 
trees which surrounded them, when, coming toward them, 
mounted on a mule, they perceived a poor monk, whose largo 
hat and gray worsted dress made them mistake him for an 
Augustine brother. Chance for once had seemed to favor 
them in sending what they were seeking for. He was a man 
about twenty-two or twenty-three years old, but who ap 
peared to be aged by his ascetic exercises. His complexion 
was pale, not of that deadly pallor which is a beauty, but of a 
bilious, yellow hue; his light colorless hair was short, and 
scarcely extended beyond the circle formed by the hat round 
his head, and his light blue eyes seemed entirely destitute of 
any expression. 

" Sir," began Raoul, with his usual politeness, " are you an 
ecclesiastic?" 

" Why do you ask me that?" replied the stranger, with a 
coolness which was barely civil. 

" Because we want to know," said De Guiche haughtily. 

The stranger touched his mule with his heel, and continued 
his way. 

In a second De Guiche had sprung before him and barred 
his passage. " Answer, sir," exclaimed he; " you have been 
asked politely, and every question is worth an answer." 

" I suppose I am free to say who I am, or not, to any kind 
of people who choose to take a fancy to ask me?" 

It was with difficulty that De Guiche restrained the intense 
desire he had of breaking the monk's bones. 

" In the first place," he said, making an effort to control 
himself, " we are not people who may be treated auyhowj 



182 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

my friend there is the Viscount of Bragelonne, and I am the 
Count de Guiche. Nor is it from a matter of caprice that 
we asked you the question; for there is a wounded and dying 
man who demands the succor of the church. If you be a 
priest, I conjure you in the name of humanity to follow me 
to aid this man; if you be not, it is a different matter, and 
I warn you, in the name of courtesy, of which you appear 
so utterly ignorant, that I shall chastise you for your in 
solence." 

The pale face of the monk became so livid, and his smile 
was so strange, that Raoul, whose eyes were still fixed upon 
him, felt as if this smile had struck to his heart like some 
insult. 

"He is some Spanish or Flemish spy," said he, putting his 
hand to his pistols. A glance, threatening and as transient 
as lightning, replied to Raoul. 

" Well, sir," said De Guiche, "are you going to reply?" 

"I am a priest," said the young man. 

"Then, father," said Raoul, forcing himself to give a 
respect to his speech which did not come from his heart, 
"if you are a priest, then you have an opportunity, as my 
friend has told you, of exercising your vocation. At the 
next inn you will find a wounded man, who has asked the 
assistance of a minister of God, attended on by our 
servants." 

" I will go," said the monk. 

And he touched his mule. 

" If you do not go, sir," said De Guiche, " remember that 
we have two steeds quite able to catch your mule, and the 
power of having you seized wherever you may be; and then I 
swear your trial will be short; one can always find a tree and 
a cord." 

The monk's eye again flashed, but that was all; he merely 
repeated his phrase, " I will go," and he went. 

"Let us follow him," said De Guiche; "it will be the 
more sure plan." 

" I was about to propose doing so," answered De 
Bragelonne. 

In the space of five minutes the monk turned round to as 
certain whether he was followed or not. 

" You see," said Raoul, " we have done wisely." 

" What a horrible face that monk has," said De Guiche. 

" Horrible!" replied Raoul, " especially in expression." 

"Yes, yes," said De Guiche, "a strange face; but these 
monks are subject to such degrading practices; the fasts 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 183 

make them pale; the blows of the discipline make them 
hypocrites; and their eyes become inflamed in weeping for 
the good things of this life which we enjoy, and which they 
have lost." 

" Well," said Raoul, " the poor man will get his priest; but 
by heaven, the penitent appears to have a better conscience 
than the confessor. I confess I am accustomed to see priests 
of a very different appearance." 

"All!" exclaimed De Quiche, "you must understand that 
this is one of those wandering brothers, who go begging on 
the highroad, until some day a benefice falls down from 
heaven for them; they are mostly foreigners Scotch, Irish, 
or Danish." 

" What a misfortune for that poor wounded fellow to die 
under the hands of such a friar." 

" Pshaw!" said De Quiche. " Absolution comes not from 
him who administers it, but from God. However, let me 
teil you that I would rather die unshriven than have any 
thing to say to such a confessor. You are of my opinion, 
are you not, viscount? and I see you playing with the pom 
mel of your pistol, as if ycu had a great inclination to break 
his head." 

" Yes, count, it is a strange thing, and one which might 
astonish you; but I feel an indescribable horror at the sight 
of that man. Have you ever seen a snake rise up in your 
path?" 

" Never," answered De Quiche. 

" Well, it has happened to me to do so in our Blaisois for- 
dsts, and I remember that the first time I encountered one 
with its eyes fixed upon me, curled up, swinging its head, 
and pointing its tongue, that I remained fixed, pale, and as 
if fascinated, until the moment when the Count de la 
Fere " 

" Your father?" asked De Quiche. 

" No, rny guardian," replied Kaoul, blushing. 

" Very well " 

" Until the moment when the Count de la Fere," resumed 
Raoul, "said, 'Come, Bragelonne, draw your sword;' then 
only I rushed upon the reptile, and cut it in two; juot at the 
moment when it was rising on its tail and hissing ere it 
sprang upon me. Well, I vow I felt exactly the same sensation 
at the sight of that man when he said, * Why do you ask me 
that?' and looked at me." 

"Then you regret that you did not cut your serpen-t in two 
morsels s" 



184 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Faith, yes, almost," said Raoul. 

They had now arrived in sight of the little inn, and could 
see on the opposite side the procession bearing the wounded 
man, and guided by Monsieur d'Armiuges. The youths 
spurred on. 

"There is the wounded man," said De Guiche, passing 
close to the Augustine brother. "Be good enough to hurry 
yourself a little, sir monk." 

As for Raoul, he avoided the monk the whole width of the 
road, and passed him, turning his head away in disgust. 

The young men rode up to the wounded man to announce 
that they were followed by the priest. He raised himself to 
glance in the direction which they pointed out, saw the 
monk, and fell back upon the litter, his face being lightened 
up by joy. 

"And now," said the youths, "we have done all we can 
for you; and as we are in haste to join the prince's army we 
must continue our journey. You will excuse us, sir, but we 
are told that a battle is expected, and we do not wish to 
arrive the day after it." 

" Go, my young sirs," said the sick man; "and may you 
both be blessed for your piety. God protect you and all dear 
to you!" 

" Sir," said De Guiche to his tutor, " we ' ill precede you, 
and you can rejoin us on the road to Cambrio." 

The host was at his door, and everything was prepared 
bed, bandages and lint. 

" Everything," said he to Raoul, " shall be done as you 
desire; but will you not stop to have your wound dressed?" 

" Oh, my wound mine it is nothing," replied the vis 
count; "it will be time to think about it when we next halt; 
only have the goodness, should you see a cavalier pass who 
should make inquiries rrom you about a young man mounted 
on a chestnut horse, and followed by a servant, to tell him, 
in fact, that you have seen me, but that I have continued my 
journey, and intend to dine at Mazingarbe, and to stop at 
Cambrin. This cavalier is my attendant." 

" Would it not be safer and more sure that I should ask 
him his name, and tell him yours?" demanded the host. 

" There is no harm in over-precaution. I am the Viscount 
de Bragelonne, and he is called Grimaud." 

At this moment the wounded man passed on one side, and 
the monk on the other, the latter dismounting from his mule 
and desiring that it should be taken to the stables without 
being unharnessed. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 185 

'Come, count," said Raoul, who seemed instinctively to 
dislike the vicinity of the Augustine; " come, I feel ill here," 
and the two young men spurred on. 

The litter, borne by the two servants, now entered the 
house. The host and his wife were standing on the steps of 
the staircase, while the unhappy man seemed to suffer dread 
ful pain, and yet only to be anxious to know if he was fol 
lowed by the monk. At the sight of this pale, bleeding man, 
the wife grasped her husband's arm. 

"Well, what's the matter?" asked the latter; "are you 
going to be ill just now?" 

" No, but look," replied the hostess, pointing to the 
wounded man; "I ask you if you recognize him?" 

"That man wait a bit." 

"Ah! I see that you know him," exclaimed the wife; 
"for you have become pale in your turn." 

" In truth," cried the host, " misfortune has come upon our 
house; it is the executioner of Bethune!" 

"The former executioner of Bethune!" murmured the 
young monk, shrinking back, and showing 'on his counte 
nance the feeling of repugnance which his penitent inspired. 

Monsieur d'Arminges, who was at the door, perceived his 
hesitation. 

" Sir monk," said he, '* whether he is now or has been an 
executioner, this unfortunate being is no less a man. Render 
to him, then, the last service he will ask from you, and your 
work will be all the more meritorious." 

The monk made no reply, but silently wended his way to 
the room where the two valets had deposited the dying man 
on a bed. D'Arminges and Olivain, and the two grooms, 
then mounted their horses, and all four started off at a quick 
trot to rejoin Raoul and his companion. Just as the tutor 
and his escort disappeared in their turn, a new traveler 
stopped on the threshold of the inn. 

"What does your worship want?" demanded the host, pale 
and trembling from the discovery he had just made. 

The traveler made a sign as if he wished to drink, pointed 
to his horse, and gesticulated like a man who is rubbing 
something. 

"Ah! diable," said the host to himself, " this man seems 
dumb. And where will your worship drink?" 

" There," answered the traveler, pointing to a table. 

** I was mistaken," said the host; "he's not quite dumb. 
And what else does your worship wish for?" 

" To know if you have seen a young man pass, fifteen 



186 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

years of age, mounted on a chestnut horse, aud followed by a 
groom. " 

" The Viscount de Bragelonne?" 

"Just so." 

"Then you are called Monsieur Grimaud?" 

The traveler made a sign of assent. 

" Well, then," said the host, " your young master has been 
here a quarter of an hour ago; he will line at Mazingarbe, 
and sleep at Cambrin." 

"How far from Mazingarbe?" 

" Two miles and a half." 

" Thank you." 

Grimaud was drinking his wine silently, and had just 
placed his glass on the table to be filled a second time, when 
a fearful scream resounded from the room occupied by the 
monk and the dying man. Grimaud sprang up. 

" What is that?" said he; " whence that cry?" 

" From the wounded man's room," replied the host. 

" What wounded man?" 

" The former executioner of Bethune, who has just been 
brought in here assassinated by the Spaniards, and who is 
now being confessed by an Augustine friar." 

"The old executioner of Bethune?" muttered Grirnaud; 
" a man between fifty-five and sixty, tall, strong, swarthy, 
black hair and beard." 

"That is he do you know him?" asked the host. 

" I have seen him once," replied Grimaud, a cloud darken 
ing his countenance at the picture called up by his recollec 
tions. 

At this instant a second cry, less piercing than the first, 
but followed by prolonged groaning, was heard. 

" We must see what it is," said Grimaud. 

If Grimaud was slow in speaking, we know that he was 
quick in action; he sprang to the door and shook it violently, 
but it was bolted on the other side. 

" Open the door," cried the host, " open it instantly, sir 
monk!" 

No reply. 

" Unfasten it, or I will break in the panel," said Grimaud. 

The same silence, and then, ere the host could oppose his 
design, Grimaud seized on some pincers which he perceived 
lying in a corner, and had forced the bolt. The room was 
inundated with blood, streaming through the mattresses upon 
which lay the wounded man speechless the monk had 
disappeared. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 187 

" The monk!" cried the host; " where is the monk?" 

Grimaud sprang toward an open window which looked into 
the courtyard. 

" He has escaped by this means/' exclaimed he. 

"Do you think so?" said the host, bewildered; "boy, see 
if the mule belonging to the monk is still in the stable." 

" There's no mule," replied the person to whom this 
question was addressed. 

The host held up his hand, and looked around him sus 
piciously, while Grimaud knit his brows and approached 
the wounded man, whose worn, hard features awoke in his 
mind such awful recollections of the past. 

" There can be no longer any doubt but that it i* him 
self," said he. 

" Does he still live," inquired the innkeeper. 

Making no reply, Grimaud opened the poor man's jacket 
to feel if the heart beat, while the host approached in his 
turn; but in a moment they both fell back, the host utter 
ing a cry of horror, and Grimaud becoming pallid. The 
blade of a dagger was buried up to the hilt in the left side 
of the executioner. 

"Run run for help!" cried Grimaud, "and I will re 
main beside him here." 

The host quitted the room in agitation: and as for hit 
wife, she had fled at the sound of her husband's cries. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

GRIMAUD SPEAKS. 

GRIMAUD was left alone with the executioner, who in a few 
moments opened his eyes. 

"Help, help,'' he murmured; "oh, God! have I not 
single friend in the world who will aid me either to live or to 
die?" 

"Take courage," said Grimaud; "they are gone to find 
help." 

" Who are you?" asked the wounded man, fixing his half- 
opened eyes on Grimaud. 

"An old acquaintance," replied Grimaud. 

" You?" and the wounded man sought to recall the features 
of the person who was before him to his mind. 

" Under what circumstances did we meet?" he asked 
again. 



188 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" One night, twenty years ago, my master fetched you 
from B6thune, and conducted you to Armenti^res." 

"I know you well, now/' said the executioner; "you are 
one of the four grooms." 

" Just so." 

" Where do you come from now?" 

" I was passing by on the road, and drew up at this inn to 
rest my horse. They were relating to me how the executioner 
of B6thune was here, and wounded, when you uttered two 
piercing cries. At the first we ran to the door, and at the 
second forced it open." 

"And the monk?" exclaimed the executioner; "did you 
see the monk?" 

" What monk?" 

" The monk that was shut in with me." 

"No, he was no longer here; he appears to have fled by 
that window. Was it he who struck you?" 

" Yes," said the executioner. 

Grimaud moved, as if to leave the room. 

" What are you going to do?" asked the wounded man. 

" He must be apprehended." 

" Do not attempt it; he has revenged himself, and has done 
well. Now I may hope that God will forgive me, since my 
crime has been expiated." 

" Explain yourself," said Grimaud. 

" The woman, whom you and your masters made me 
kill " 

"Milady?" 

"Yes, milady; it is true you called her thus." 

" Well, what has the monk to do with milady?" 

" She was his mother." 

Grimaud trembled, and stared at the dying man in a dull 
and stupid manner. 

" His mother!" repeated he. 

" Yes, his mother." 

"But does he know this secret, then?" 

" I mistook him for a monk, and revealed it to him in 
confession." 

"Unhappy man," cried Grimaud, whose face was covered 
with sweat, at the bare idea of the evil results which such a 
revelation might cause " unhappy man, you named no one, 
I hope?" 

" I pronounced no name, for I knew none, except his 
mother's, as a young girl, and it was by this name that he 
recognized her; but he knows that his uncle was among her 
judges." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 189 

Thua speaking, he fell back exhausted. Grimaud, wish 
ing to relieve him, advanced his hand toward the hilt of the 
dagger. 

"Touch me not!" said the executioner; "if this dagger is 
withdrawn, I shall die." 

Grimaud remained with his hand extended; then, striking 
his forehead, he exclaimed: "Oh! if this man should ever 
discover the names of the others, rny master is lost." 

"Haste! haste to him, and warn him," cried the wounded 
man, " if he still lives; warn his friends too. My death, be 
lieve me, will not be the end of this terrible adventure." 

" Where was the monk going?" asked Grimaud. 

"Toward Paris." 

" Who stopped him?" 

" Two young gentlemen, who were on their way to join the 
army, and the name of one of whom I heard his companion 
mention, the Viscount de Bragelonne." 

" And it was this young man who brought the monk to 
you. Then it was the will of God that it should be so, and 
this it is which is so awful," continued Grimaud; "and yet 
that woman deserved her fate: do you not think so?" 

" On one's deathbed the crimes of others appear very small 
in comparison with one's own," said the executioner; and he 
fell back exhausted, and closed his eyes. 

At this moment the host re-entered the room, followed not 
only by a surgeon, but by many other persons, whom curiosity 
had attracted to the spot. The surgeon approached the dying 
man, who seemed to have fainted. 

" We must first extract the steel from the side," said he, 
shaking his head in a significant manner. 

The prophecy which the wounded man had just uttered re 
curred to Grimaud, who turned away his head. The weapon, 
as we have already stated, was plunged into the body up to 
the hilt, and as the surgeon, taking it by the end, drew it 
from the wound, the wounded man opened his eyes, and fixed 
them in a manner truly frightful. When, at last, the blade 
had been entirely withdrawn, a red froth issued from the 
mouth of the wounded man, and a stream of blood sprang 
from the wound, when he at length drew breath; then fixing 
his eyes on Grimaud, with a singular expression, the dying 
man uttered the last death rattle, and expired. 

Then, Grimaud, raising the dagger from the pool of blood 
which was gliding along the room to the horror of all pres 
ent made a sign to the host to follow him, paid him with a 
generosity worthy of his master, and again mounted his horse. 



190 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Grimaud's first intentions had been to return to Paris, but he 
remembered the anxiety which hie prolonged absence might 
occasion to Raoul, and, reflecting that there were now only 
two miles between Raoul and himself, that a quarter of an 
hour's riding would unite them, and that the going, return 
ing, and explanation would not occupy an hour, he put spurs 
to his horse, and, ten minutes after, had reached the only inn 
of Mazingarbe. 

Raoul was seated at table with the Count de Quiche and 
his tutor, when all at once the door opened, and Grimaud 
presented himself, travel-stained and dirty, still covered with 
the blood of the unfortunate executioner. 

"Grimaud, my good Grimaud!" exclaimed Raoul, "here 
you are at last! Excuse me, sirs, this is not a servant, but a 
friend. How did you leave the count?" continued he; "does 
he regret me a little? Have you seen him since I left him? 
Answer, for I have many things to tell you, too; indeed, the 
last three days some odd adventures have happened but, 
what is the matter? how pale you are! and blood, too! 
what is this?" 

" It is the blood of the unfortunate man whom you left at 
the inn, and who died in my arms." 

In your arms? that man! But know you who he was?" 
I know that he was the old headsman of Bethuue." 
You knew him? and he is dead?" 
Yes." 

Well, sir," said D'Armiuges, " it is the common lot, and 
even an executioner is not exempted from it. I had a bad 
opinion of him the moment I saw his wound, and, since he 
asked for a monk, you know ifc was his own opinion too that 
death must ensue." 

At the mention of the monk Grimaud turned pale. 

"Come, come," continued D'Armingeg, "to dinner;" for, 
like most men of his age and of his generation, he did not 
allow any sensibility to interfere with a repast. 

"You are right, sir," said Raoul. "Come, Grimaud, 
order some dinner for yourself, and when you have rested a 
little, we can talk." 

" No, sir, no," said Grimaud; " I cannot stop a moment; I 
must start for Paris again immediately." 

" How now? you start for Paris? Explain yourself! do you 
intend to disobey me for a change?" 

"I cannot explain myself, and must disobey, unless you 
wish me to leave his honor, the count, to be killed!" 

"Grimaud, my friend," said the viscount, " will you leave 
me thus, in such anxiety? Sueak, speak in heaven's name!" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 191 

" I can tell you but one thing, sir, for the secret you wish 
to know is not my own. You met this monk, did you not?" 

"Yes." 

" You conducted him to the wounded man, and you had 
time to observe him, and perhaps you would know him again 
were you to meet him?" 

" Yes! yes!" exclaimed both the young men. 

"Very well! if ever you meet him again, wherever it may 
be, whether on the highroad or in the streei, or in a church, 
anywhere that he or you rnay be, put your foot on his neck 
and crush him without pity, without mercy, as you would 
crush a viper, a snake, an asp; destroy him, and leave him 
not till he is dead; the lives of five men are not safe, in my 
opinion, as long as he lives!" 

And without adding another word, Grimaud, profiting by 
the astonishment and terror into which he had thrown his 
auditors, rushed from the room. Ten minutes later the gal 
lop of a horse was heard on the road it was Grimaud on his 
way to Paris. When once in the saddle, Grimaud reflected 
upon two things: the first that, at the pace he was going, his 
horse would not carry him ten miles; and secondly, that he 
had no money. But Grimaud's imagination was more prolific 
than his speech; and, therefore, at the first halt he sold his 
steed, and with the money obtained from the purchaser he 
took post-horses. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

A DINNER IN THE OLD STYLE. 

THE second interview between the former musketeers had 
not been so pompous and stiff as the first. Athos, with his 
superior understanding, wisely deemed that the table would 
be the most speedy and complete point of reunion, and at 
tne moment when his friends, doubtful of his deportment 
and his sobriety, dared scarcely speak of some of their former 
good dinners, he was the first to propose that they should all 
assemble round some well-spread table, and abandon them 
selves unreservedly to their own natural character and 
manners, a freedom which had formerly contributed so 
much to the good understanding between them as to give 
them the name of the inseparables. For different reasons 
this was an agreeable proposition to them all, and it was 
therefore agreed that each should leave a very exact address, 



192 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

and that upon the request of any of the associates, a meeting 
should be convoked at a famous eating-house in the Ruedela 
Monnaie, of the sign of the Hermitage; the first rendezvous 
was fixed for the following Wednesday, at eight o'clock iu the 
evening precisely. 

On that day, in fact, the four friends arrived punctually at 
the said hour, each from his own abode. Porthos had been 
trying a new horse; D'Artagnan came from being on guard 
at the Louvre; Aramis had been to visit one of his penitents 
iu the neighborhood; and Athos, whose domicile was estab 
lished in the Rue Guenegaud, found himself close at hand. 
They were therefore somewhat surprised to meet altogether 
at the door of the Hermitage; Athos starting out from the 
Pont Neuf, Porthos by the Rue du Roule, D'Artagnan by 
the Rue fles Fossees St. Germain FAuxerrois, and Aramis by 
the Rue de Bethisy. 

The first words exchanged between the four friends, on 
account of the ceremony which each of them mingled with 
their demonstration, were somewhat forced, and even the 
repast began with a kind of stiffness. Athos perceived this 
embarrassment, and by way of supplying a prompt remedy, 
called for four bottles of champagne. 

At this order, given in Athos' habitually calm manner, the 
face of the Gascon relaxed, and Porthos brow was smooth. 
Aramis was astonished. He knew that Athos not only never 
drank, but that more, he had a kind of repugnance to wine. 
This astonishment was doubled when Aramis saw Athos fill a 
bumper, and drink with his former enthusiasm. His com 
panions following his example, in an instant the four bottles 
were empty, and this excellent specific succeeded in dissipat 
ing even the slightest cloud which might have rested on their 
spirits. Now the four friends began to speak loud, scarcely 
waiting till one had finished for another to begin, and to 
assume each his favorite attitude on or at the table. Soon 
strange fact Aramis unfastened two buttons of his doublet, 
seeing which, Porthos unhooked his entirely. 

Battles, long journeys, blows given and received, sufficed 
for the first subject of conversation; which then turned upon 
the silent struggles sustained against him who was now called 
the great cardinal. 

"Faith/' said Aramis, laughing, " we have praised the 
dead enough, let us revile the living a little. I should like 
to say something evil of Mazarin; is it allowed?" 

" Go on go on," replied D'Artagnan, laughing heartily, 
" relate your story, and I will applaud if it is a good one." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 193 

" A great prince/' said Aramis, " with whom Mazarin 
eought an alliance, was invited by him to send him a list of 
the conditions on which he would do him the honor to 
negotiate with him. The prince, who had a great repug 
nance to treat with such an ill-bred fellow, made his list 
against the grain, and sent it. In this list there were three 
conditions which displeased Mazarin, and he offered the prince 
ten thousand crowns to renounce them." 

" Ah, ah, ah!" exclaimed the three friends, "not a bad 
bargain; and there was no fear of being taken at his word; 
what did the prince then?" 

" The prince immediately sent fifty thousand francs to 
Mazarin begging him never to write to him again, and offered 
twenty thousand francs more, on condition that he would 
never speak to him." 

"What did Mazarin do?" 

"He stormed?" suggested Athos. 

" He beat the messenger?" cried Porthos. 

" He accepted the money?" said D'Artagnan. 

" You have guessed it," answered Aramis; and they all 
laughed so heartily that the host appeared in order to inquire 
whether these gentlemen wanted anything; he thought they 
were fighting. 

At last their hilarity was calmed, and 

"Faith!" exclaimed D'Artagnan to his two friends, "you 
may well wish ill to Mazarin; for I assure you, on his side, 
he wishes you no good." 

" Pooh ! really?" asked Athos. " If I thought that the fel 
low knew me by my name, I would be rebaptized, for fear I 
should be thought to know him." 

" He knows you better by your actions than by your name; 
he is quite aware that there are two gentlemen who have 
greatly aided the escape of Monsieur de Beaufort, and he 
has instigated an active search for them, I can answer 
for it." 

" By whom?" 

"By me; and this morning he sent for me to ask me if I 
had obtained any information." 

"And what did you reply?" 

" That I had none yet; but that I was to dine to-day with 
two gentlemen, who would be able to give me some." 

" You told him that?" said Porthos, his broad smile spread 
ing over his honest face, "bravo! and you are not afraid of 
that, Athos?" 

" No," replied Athosj " it is not the search of Mazarin that 
1 fear." DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



194 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Now," said Aratnis, "tell me a little what you do fear." 

"Nothing for the present at least, in good earnest." 

" And with regard to the past?" asked Porthos. 

" Oh! the past is another thing," said Athos, sighing; " the 
past and the future." 

" Are you afraid for your young Raoul?" asked Aramis. 

"Well, "said D'Artaguan, "one is never killed in a first 
engagement." 

" Nor in the second," said Aramis. 

" Nor in the third," returned Porthos; "and even when 
one is killed, one rises again, the proof of which is, that here 
we are!" 

"No," said Athos, "it is not Raoul about whom I am 
anxious, for I trust he will conduct himself like a gentleman; 
and if he is killed well he will die bravely; but hold 
should such a misfortune happen well " Athos passed 
his hand across his pale brow. 

" Well?" asked Aramis. 

" Well, I shall look upon it as an expiation." 

" Oh! ah!" said D'Artagnan; " I know what you mean." 

" And I, too," added Aramis; " but you must not think of 
that, Athos; what is past is past." 

"I don't understand," said Porthos. 

" The affair at Armentidres," whispered D'Artagnan. 

" The affair at Armentidres?" asked he again. 

"Milady." 

" Oh, yes!" said Porthos; " true, I had forgotten it." 

Athos looked at him intently. 

"You have forgotten it, Porthos?" said he. 

" Faith! yes, it is so long ago," answered Porthos. 

" This thing does not, then, weigh on your conscience?" 

"Faith, no/' 

"And you, D'Artagnan?" 

" I I own that when ray mind returns to that terrible 
period, I have no recollection of anything but the stiffened 
corpse of that poor Madame Bonacieux. Yes, yes, murmured 
he, " I have often felt regret for the victim, but never any 
remorse for the assassin." 

Athos shook his head doubtfully. 

" Consider," said Aramis, " if you admit divine justice and 
its participation in the things of this world, that woman was 
punished by the will of heaven. We were but the instru 
ments that is all." 

"But as to free will, Aramis?" 

" How acts the judge? He has a free will, and he con- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 195 

demns fearlessly. What does the executioner? He is master 
of his arm, and yet he strikes without remorse." 

" The executioner!" muttered Athos, as if arrested by some 
recollection. 

"I know that it is terrible," said D'Artagnan; " but when 
I reflect that we have killed English, Kochellais, Spaniards, 
nay, even French, who never did us any other harm but to 
aim at and to miss us, whose only fault was to cross swords 
with us, and not to be able to ward us off quick enough I 
can, on my honor, find an excuse for my share of the murder 
of that woman." 

" As for me," said Porthos, "now that you have reminded 
me of it, Athos, I have the scene again before me, as if I 
was there! Milady was there, as it were in your place." 
(Athos changed color.) "I I was where D'Artagnan 
stands. I wore a short sword which cut like a Damascus 
you remember it Aramis, for you '' 

" And you, Aramis?" 

" Well, I think of it sometimes," said Aramis. "And I 
swear to you all three, that had the executioner of Bethune 
was he not of Bethune? yes, egad! of Bethune! not been 
there I would have cut off the head of that infamous being 
without remembering who I am, and even remembering it. 
She was a bad woman. 

" And then," resumed Aramis, with the tone of philosoph 
ical indifference which he had assumed since he had belonged 
to the church, and in which there was more atheism than 
confidence in God, " what is the use of thinking of all that? 
At the last hour we must confess this action, and God knows 
better than we can whether it is a crime, a fault, or a meri 
torious action, /repent of it? Egad! no. By honor, and 
by the holy cross, I only regret it because she was a 
woman." 

" The most satisfactory part of the matter," said D'Ar 
tagnan, " is that there remains no trace of it." 

" She had a son," observed Athos. 

"Oh! yes; I know that," said D'Artagnan, "and you 
mentioned it to me; but who knows what has become of him? 
If the serpent be dead, why not its brood? Do you think 
that his uncle De Winter would have brought up that young 
viper? De Winter probably condemned the son as he had done 
the mother." 

" Then," said Athos, " woe to De Winter, for the child had 
done no harm." 

"May the devil take me if the child be not dead," said 



196 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Porthos. " There is so much fog in that detestable country, 
at least so D'Artagnan declares." 

Just as this conclusion arrived at by Porthos was about 
probably to bring back hilarity to the faces now more or less 
clouded, footsteps were heard on the stair, and some one 
knocked at the door. 

" Come in," cried Athos. 

" Please your honors/* said the host, " a person, in a great 
hurry, wishes to speak to one of you." 

" To which of us?" asked all the four friends. 

" To him who is called the Count de la Fere." 

" It is I," said Athos; "and what is the name of the 
person ?" 

"Grimaud." 

"Ah!" exclaimed Athos, turning pale. "Returned al 
ready. What has happened, then, to Bragelonne?" 

" Let him enter," cried D'Artagnan, "let him come up." 

But Grimaud had already mounted the staircase, and was 
waiting on the last step; so springing into the room he mo 
tioned the host to leave it. The door being closed, the four 
friends waited in expectation. Grimaud's agitation, his pal 
lor, the sweat which covered his face, the dust which soiled 
his clothes, all indicated that he was the messenger of some 
important and terrible news. 

" Your honors," said he, " that woman had a child; that 
child has become a man; the tigress had a little one, the tiger 
has roused himself; he is ready to spring upon you beware!" 

Athos glanced around at his friends with a melancholy 
smile. Porthos turned to look at his sword which was hung 
up against the wall; Aramis seized his knife; D'Artagnan 
rose. 

"What do you mean, Grimaud?" he exclaimed. 

" That milady's son has left England; that he is in France 
on his road to Paris, if he be not here already." 

" The devil he is!" said Porthos. "Are you sure of it?" 

"Certain!" replied Grimaud. 

This announcement was received in silence. Grimaud was 
so breathless, so exhausted, that he had fallen back upon a 
chair. Athos filled a glass with champagne, and gave it 
to him. 

" Well, and after all," said D'Artagnan, " supposing that 
he lives, that he comes to Paris, we have seen many other 
such. Let him come." 

"Yes," echoed Porthos, stroking his sword, suspended to 
the wall, " we can wait for him, let him come." 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 19? 

"Moreover, he is but a child," said Aramis. 

Grimaud rose. 

" A child!" he exclaimed. "Do you know what he has 
done this child? Disguised as a monk, he discovered the 
whole history in confession from the executioner of B6thune, 
and having confessed him, after having learned everything 
from him, he gave him absolution by planting this dagger into 
his heart. See, it is still red and wet, for it is not thirty 
hours ago since it was drawn from the wound. " 

And Grimaud threw the dagger on the table. 

D'Artagnan, Porthos, and Aramis rose, and in one spon 
taneous motion rushed to their swords. Athos alone re 
mained seated, calm and thoughtful. 

' And you say he is dressed as a monk, Grimaud ?" 
'Yes, as an Augustine monk." 
' What sized man is he?" 

'About my height, the host said; thin, pale, with light 
blue eyes, and light hair." 

' And he did not see Raoul ?" asked Athos. 
' Yes, on the contrary, they met, and it was the viscount 
himself who conducted him to the bed of the dying man/' 

Athos rose, in his turn, without speaking went, and un 
hooked his sword. 

" Heigh, sir," said D'Artagnan, trying to laugh; "do you 
know we look very much like silly women! How is it that 
we, four men, who have faced armies without blinking, begin 
to tremble at the eight of a child!" 

" Yes," said Athos, " but this child comes in the name of 
heaven." 

And they hastily quitted the inn. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

A LETTER FROM CHARLES THE FIRST. 

THE reader must now cross the Seine with us, and follow 
us to the door of the Carmelite Convent in the Rue St. 
Jacques. It is eleven o'clock in the morning, and the pious sis 
ters have just finished saying a mass for the success of the 
armies of King Charles I. Leaving the church, a woman 
and a young girl dressed in black, the one as a widow and the 
other as an orphan, have re-entered their cell. 

The woman kneels on a prie-Dieu of painted wood, and at 
a short distance from her stands the young girl, leaning 
against a chair, weeping. 



198 TWENTY YEABS AFTER. 

The woman must have been handsome, but the traces 
of sorrow have aged her. The young girl is lovely, and her 
tears only embellish her; the lady appears to be about forty 
years of age, the girl about fourteen. 

"Oh, God!" prayed the kneeling suppliant, "protect my 
husband, guard my son, and take my wretched life instead!" 

" Oh, God," murmured the girl, " leave me my mother!" 

" Your mother can be of no use to you in this world, Hen 
rietta," said the lady, turning round. " Your mother has no 
longer either throne or husband, nor son, nor money, nor 
friends the whole world, my poor child, has abandoned your 
mother!" And she fell back, weeping, into her daughter's 
arms. 

" Courage, take courage, my dear mother!" said the girl. 

" Ah! 'tis an unfortunate year for kings," said the mother. 
"And no one thinks of us in this country, for each must 
think of his own affairs. As long as your brother was with 
me he kept me up; but he is gone, and can no longer send us 
news of himself, either to me or to your father. I have 
pawned my last jewels, sold all your clothes and my own to 
pay his servants, who refused to accompany him unless I 
made this sacrifice. We are now reduced to live at the ex 
pense of these daughters of heaven; we are the poor suc 
cored by God." 

"But why not address yourself to your sister the queen?" 
asked the girl. 

"Alas! the queen, my sister, is no longer queen, my child. 
Another reigns in her name. One day you will be able to 
understand how this is." 

" Well, then, to the king, your nephew; shall I speak to 
him? You know how much he loves me, my mother." 

" Alas! my nephew is not yet king, and you know Laporte 
has told us twenty times that he himself is in need of almost 
everything." 

" Then let us pray to heaven/' said the girl. 

The two women who thus knelt together in prayer were the 
daughter and granddaughter of Henry IV., the wife and 
daughter of Charles I. 

They had just finished their double prayer, when a nun 
softly tapped at the door of the cell. 

" Enter, my sister/' said the queen. 

"I trust your majesty will pardon this intrusion on her 
meditations, but a foreign lord has arrived from England, and 
waits in the parlor, demanding the honor of presenting a 
letter to your majesty/' 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 199 

"Oh! a letter! a letter from the king, perhaps. News 
from your father, do you hear, Henrietta And the name of 
this lord?" 

" Lord de Winter/' 

" Lord de Winter!" exclaimed the queen, " the friend of my 
husband. Oh, let him come in!" 

And the queen advanced to meet the messenger, whose 
hand she seized affectionately, while he knelt down, and pre 
sented a letter to her contained in a gold case. 

" Ah! my lord," said the queen, " you bring us three things 
which we have not seen for a long time. Gold, a devoted 
friend, and a letter from the king, our husband and master." 

De Winter bowed again, unable to reply from excess of 
emotion. 

On their side the mother and daughter retired into the 
embrasure of a window to read eagerly the following letter: 

"DEAR WIFE: We have now reached the moment of decis 
ion. I have concentrated here at Naseby camp all the re 
sources which heaven has left me; and I write to you in 
haste from thence. Here I await the army of my rebellious 
subjects, and I am about to fight for the last time against 
them. If victorious, I shall continue the struggle; if beaten, 
I am completely lost. I shall try, in the latter case (alas! in 
our position, one must provide- for everything), I shall try to 
gain the coast of France. But can they, will they receive an 
unhappy king, who will bring such a sad story into a country 
already agitated by civil discord? Your wisdom and your af 
fection must serve me as guides. The bearer of this letter 
will tell you, madame, what I dare not trust to the risk of mis 
carrying. He will explain to you the steps which I expect 
you to pursue. I charge him also with my blessing for my 
children, and with the sentiments of my heart for yourself, 
dear wife." 

The letter bore the signature, not of " Charles, King," but 
of " Charles still king." 

" And let him be no longer king," cried the queen. " Let 
him be conquered, exiled, proscribed, provided he still lives. 
Alas! in these days the throne is too dangerous a place for 
me to wish him to keep it! But, my lord, tell me," she con 
tinued, " hide nothing from me what is, in truth, the king'c 
position? Is it as hopeless as he thinks?" 

" Alas! madame more hopeless than he thinks. His 
majesty has so good a heart, that he cannot understand 



200 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

hatred is so loyal, that he does not suspect treason! Eng 
land is disturbed by a spirit of excitement, which, I greatly 
fear, blood alone can extinguish." 

" But, Lord Montrose," replied the queen, "I have heard 
of his great and rapid successes, of battles gained. I heard it 
said that he was marching to the frontier to join the king." 

" Yes, madame; but on the frontier he was met by Lesly, 
he had tired victory by means of superhuman undertakings. 
Now victory has abandoned him. Montrose, beaten at Philip- 
haugh, was obliged to disperse the remains of his army, and 
to fly disguised as a servant. He is at Bergen, in Norway." 

" Heaven preserve him!" said the queen. " It is at least a 
consolation to know that some who have so often risked their 
lives for us are in safety. And now, my lord, that I see how 
hopeless the position of the king is, tell me with what you are 
charged on the part of my royal husband." 

" Well, then, madame," said De Winter, " the king wishes 
you to try and discover the dispositions of the king and queen 
toward him." 

" Alas! you know, the king is but still a child, and the 
queen is a woman weak enough too. Monsieur Mazarin is 
everything here." 

" Does he desire to play the part in France that Cromwell 
plays in England?" 

" Oh, no! He is a subtle and cunning Italian, who, though 
he may dream of crime, dares never commit it; and unlike 
Cromwell, who disposes of both Houses, Mazarin has had the 
queen to support him in his struggle with the parliament." 

" More reason, then, that he should protect a king pursued 
by his parliament." 

The queen shook her head despairingly. 

" If I judge for myself, my lord," she said, "the cardinal 
will do nothing, and will even, perhaps, act against us. The 
presence of my daughter and myself in France is already irk 
some to him; much more so would be that of the king. My 
lord, "added Henrietta, with a melancholy smile, " it is sad, and 
almost shameful, to be obliged to say that we have passed the 
winter in the Louvre without money, without linen almost 
without bread, and often not rising from bed because we 
wanted fire." 

"Horrible!" cried De Winter; "the daughter of Henry 
IV., and the wife of King Charles! Wherefore did you not 
apply then, madame, to the first person you saw from us?" 

"Such is the hospitality shown to a queen by the minister, 
from whom a king would demand it." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 201 

" But I heard that a marriage between the Prince of Wales 
and Mademoiselle d'Orleans was spoken of," said De Winter. 

" Yes, for an instant I hoped it was so. The young people 
felt a mutual esteem; but the queen, who at first sanctioned 
their affection, changed her mind, and Monsieur the Duo 
d'Orleans, who had encouraged the familiarity between them, 
has forbidden his daughter to think any longer about the 
union. Oh, my lord!" continued the queen, without restrain 
ing her tears, "it is better to fight as the king has done, and 
to die, as perhaps he will, than to live begging as I have." 

"Courage, madame! courage! Do not despair! The 
interests of the French crown endangered this moment 
are to discourage civil rebellion in a nation so near to it. 
Mazarin, as a statesman, will understand the necessity of 
doing so." 

" But are you sure," said the queen doubtfully, "that you 
have not been forestalled?" 

"By whom?" 

" By the Joyces, the Prinns, the Cromwells." 

" By a tailor, by a coachmaker, by a Brewer! Ah! I hope, 
madame, that the cardinal will not enter into negotiations 
with such men!" 

" Ah! what wishes he himself?" asked Madame Henrietta. 

" Solely the honor of the king of the queen." 

" Well, let us hope that he will do something for the 
sake of their honor," said the queen. " A true friend's 
eloquence is so powerful, my lord, that you have reassured 
me. Give me your hand, and let us go to the minister; and 
yet," she added, "suppose he refuse, and that the king loses 
the battle!" 

" His majesty will then take refuge in Holland, where I 
hear that his highness the Prince of Wales is. 

" And can his majesty count upon many such subjects as 
yourself for his fight?" 

"Alas! no, madame," answered De Winter; "but the 
case is provided for, and I am come to France to seek allies." 

" Allies!" said the queen, shaking her head. 

" Madame!" replied De Winter, " provided I can find 
some old friends of former times, I will answer for any 
thing." 

" Come, then, my lord," said the queen, with the painful 
doubt that is felt by those who have suffered muchj "come, 
and may heaven hear you." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 
CROMWELL'S LETTER. 

AT THE very moment when the queen quitted the convent 
to go to the Palais Royale, a young man dismounted at the 
gate of this royal abode, and announced to the guards that 
he had something of consequence to communicate to Car 
dinal Mazarin. Although the cardinal was often tormeuted 
by fear, he was more often in need of counsel and informa 
tion, and he was therefore sufficiently accessible. The true 
difficulty of being admitted was not to be found at the first 
door, and even the second was passed easily enough: but at 
the third watched, beside the guard and the doorkeepers, 
the faithful Bernoulli, a Cerberus whom no speech could 
soften; no wand, even of gold, could charm. 

It was, therefore, at the third door, that those who solic 
ited or were bid to an audience, underwent a formal inter 
rogatory. 

The young man, having left his horse tied to the gate in 
the court, mounted the great staircase, and addressed the 
guard in the first chamber. 

" Cardinal Mazarin?" said he. 

" Pass on," replied the guard. 

The cavalier entered the second hall, which was guarded 
by the musketeers and doorkeepers. 

" Have you a letter of audience?" asked a porter, advan 
cing to the new arrival. 

" I have one! but not from Cardinal Mazarin." 

" Enter, and ask for Monsieur Bernouin," said the porter, 
opening the door of the third room. Whether he but held 
his usual post, or whether it might be by accident, but Mon 
sieur Bernouin was found standing behind the door, and 
must have heard all that had passed. 

" You seek me, sir?" said he. " From whom may the 
letter be that you bear to his eminence?" 

"From the General Oliver Cromwell," said the new 
comer. "Be so good as to mention this name to his emi 
nence, and to bring me word whether he will receive me 
yes or no." 

Saying which, he resumed the dark and proud bearing 
peculiar at that time to the Puritans. Bernouin cast an in 
quisitorial glance at the person of the young man, and entered 
the cabinet of the cardinal, to whom he transmitted tha 
messenger's words. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 203 

"A man bringing a letter from Oliver Cromwell?" said 
Mazarin. " And what kind of a man." 

" A true Englishman, your eminence. Hair sandy-red 
more red than sandy; gray-blue eyes more gray than blue; 
and for the rest, stiff and proud." 

" Let him give in his letter." 

" His eminence asks for the letter," said Bernouin, pass 
ing back into the antechamber. 

" His eminence cannot see the letter without the bearer of 
it," replied the young man; " but to convince you that I 
am really the bearer of a letter, see, here it is; and add," con 
tinued he, " that I am not a simple messenger, but an 
envoy extraordinary." 

Bernouin re-entered the cabinet, and returning in a few 
seconds, " Enter, sir," said he. 

The young man appeared on the threshold of the min 
ister's closet; in one hand holding his hat, in the other the 
letter. Mazarin rose. "Have you, sir," asked he, "a letter 
accrediting you to me?" 

"There it is, my lord," said the young man. 

Mazarin took the letter, and read it thus: 

" Mr. Mordaunt, one of my secretaries, will remit this 
letter of introduction to his eminence, the Cardinal Mazarin, 
in Paris. He is also the bearer of a second confidential 
epistle for his eminence. OLIVER CROMWELL." 

"Very well, Monsieur Mordaunt," said Mazarin, "give 
me the second letter, and sit down." 

The young man drew from his pocket the second letter, 
presented it to the cardinal, and sat down. The cardinal, 
however, did not unseal the letter at once, but continued to 
turn it again and again in his hand; then, in accordance 
with his usual custom, and judging from experience that few 
people could hide anything from him, when he began to 
question them, fixing his eyes upon them at the same time, 
he thus addressed the messenger: 

"You are very young, Monsieur Mordaunt, for this diffi 
cult task of ambassador, in which the oldest diplomatists 
sometimes fail." 

" My lord, I am twenty-three years of age; but your emi 
nence is mistaken in saying that I am young. I am older 
than your eminence, although I possess not your wisdom. 
Years of suffering, in my opinion, count double, and I have 
suffered for twenty years." 



2C4 TWENTY TEABS AFTER. 

" Ah, yes, I understand," said Mazarin; " want of fortntra, 
perhaps. You are poor are you not?" Then he added to 
himself " These English revolutionists are all beggars and 
ill-bred." 

"My lord, I ought to have a fortune of three hundred a 
year, but it has been taken from me." 

" You are not then a man of the people?" said Mazarin, as 
tonished. 

" If I bore my title I should be a lord. If I bore my name, 
you would have heard one of the most illustrious names of 
England." 

" What is your name, then?" asked Mazarin. 

" My name is Mordaunt," replied the young man, bowing. 

Mazarin now understood that Cromwell's envoy desired to 
retain his incognito. He was silent for an instant, and dur 
ing that time he scanned the young man even more atten 
tively than he had done at first. The messenger was 
unmoved. 

" Devil take these Puritans," said Mazrin aside; " they are 
cut out of marble." Then he added alond: "But you have 
relations left to you ?" 

"I have one remaining, and three times I have presented 
myself to him to ask his support, and three times he has de 
sired his servants to turn me away." 

"Oh, mon Dieu! my dear Mr. Mordaunt," said Mazarin, 
hoping, by a display of affected pity to catch the young 
man in a snare, "how extremely your history interests me! 
You know not, then, anything of your birth, you have never 
seen your mother?" 

" Yes, my lord; she came three times, while I was a child, 
to my nurse's house; I remember the last time she came as 
well as if it were to-day." 

" You have a good memory," said Mazarin. 

" Oh! yes, my lord!" said the young man, with such pecu 
liar emphasis that the cardinal felt a shudder run through all 
his veins. 

"And who brought you up?" he asked again. 

"A French nurse, who sent me away when I was five years 
old, because no one paid her for me, telling me the name of 
a relation, of whom she had heard my mother often speak." 

" What became of you?" 

" As I was weeping and begging on the highroad, a minis 
ter from Kingston took me in, instructed me in the Calvinis- 
tic faith, taught me all he knew himself, and aided me in iuy 
researches after my family." 



TWENTY TEAES AFTER. 205 

" And these researches?" 

" Were fruitless; chance did everything." 

"You discovered what had become of your mother?" 

" I learned that she had been assassinated by my relation, 
aided by four friends, but I was already aware that I had been 
robbed of all my wealth, and degraded from my nobility, by 
King Charles I." 

"Oh! I now understand why you are in the service of 
Cromwell; you hate the king." 

" Yes, my lord, I hate him!" said the young man. 

Mazarin marked, with surprise, the diabolical expression 
with which the young man uttered these words; as, in gen 
eral, ordinary countenances are colored by the blood his face 
seemed dyed by hatred, and became livid. 

" Your history is a terrible one, Mr. Mordaunt, and touches 
me keenly; but, happily for you, you serve an all-powerful 
master, he ought to aid you in your search; we have so many 
means of gaining information." 

" My lord, to a dog of good breed it is only necessary to 
show but one end of a track, that he may be certain to reach 
the other end." 

" But this relation whom you mentioned, do yon wish me 
to speak to him?" said Mazarin, who was anxious to make a 
friend about Cromwell's person. 

" Thanks, my lord, I will speak to him myself; he will 
treat me better the next time I see him." 

"You have the means, then, of touching him?" 

" I have the means of making myself feared." 

Mazarin looked at the young man, but, at the fire which 
shot from his glance, he bent down his head; then, embar 
rassed how to continue such a conversation, he opened Crom 
well's letter. It was lengthy, and began by alluding to the 
situation of England, and announcing that he was on the eve 
of a decisive engagement with King Charles, and certain of 
success. He then adverted to the hospitality and protection 
afforded by France to Henrietta Maria, and continued: 

"As regards King Charles, the question must be viewed 
differently; in receiving and aiding him France will censure 
the acts of the English nation, and thus so essentially do 
harm to England, and especially to the progress of the gov 
ernment which she reckons upon forming, so that such a pro 
ceeding will be equal to flagrant hostilities." 

At this moment Mazarin became very uneasy at the turn 
which the letter was taking, and paused to glance under his 
eyes at the young man. The latter continued lost in thought. 



206 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Mazarin resumed his reading of the general's worthy epistle y 
which ended by demanding perfect neutrality from France: 
" A neutrality," it said, " which was solely to consist in 
excluding King Charles from the French territories, nor to 
aid a king so entirely a stranger, either by arms, money or 
troops. Farewell, sir; should we not receive a reply in the 
space of fifteen days, I shall presume my letter will have 
miscarried. OLIVER CROMWELL." 

" Mr. Mordaunt," said the cardinal, raising his voice, as 
if to arouse the thinker, " my reply to this letter will be 
more satisfactory to General Cromwell if I am convinced that 
all are ignorant of my having given one; go, therefore, and 
await it at Boulogne-sur-Mer, and promise me to set out to 
morrow morning." 

"I promise, my lord," replied Mordaunt; "but how many 
days will your eminence oblige me to await your reply?" 

" If you do not receive it in ten days, you can leave." 

Mordaunt bowed. 

"It is not all, sir," continued Mazarin; "your private ad 
ventures have touched me to the quick; besides, the letter 
from Mr. Cromwell makes you an important person in my 
eyes as ambassador; come, tell me what can I do for you ?" 

Mordauut reflected a moment, and, after some hesitation, 
was about to speak, when Bernouin entered hastily, and, 
bending down to the ear of the cardinal, whispered to him: 

"My lord, the Queen Henrietta Maria, accompanied by 
an English noble, is just entering the Palais Eoyal at this 
moment." 

Mazarin made a bound from his chair, which did not 
escape the attention of the young man, and repressed the 
confidence he was about to make. 

"Sir," said the cardinal, "you have heard me? I fix on 
Boulogne because I presume that every town in France is in 
different to you; if you prefer another, name it; but you can 
easily conceive that, surrounded as I am by influences from 
which I can escape alone by means of discretion, I desire 
your presence in Paris to be ignored." 

" I shall go, sir," said Mordaunt, advancing a few steps to 
the door by which he had entered. 

"No, not that way I beg, sir," quickly exclaimed the car 
dinal; " be so good as to pass by that gallery, by which you 
can gain the hall; I do not wish you to be seen leaving our 
interview must be kept secret." 

Mordaunt followed Beruouiu, who conducted him through 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 307 

a neighboring chamber, and left him with a doorkeeper show 
ing him the way out. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

HENRIETTA MARIA AND MAZARIN. 

THE cardinal rose, and advanced in haste to receive the 
queen of England. He showed the more respect to this queen, 
deprived of all pomp, and without followers, as he felt some 
self-reproach for his own want of heart and his avarice. But 
suppliants for favor know how to vary the expression of 
their features, and the daughter of Henry IV. smiled as she 
advanced to meet one whom she hated and despised. 

" Ah!" said Mazarin to himself, " what a sweet face! does 
she come to borrow money of me?" 

And he threw an uneasy glance at his strong box; he even 
turned inside the bevel of the magnificent diamond ring, the 
brilliancy of which drew every eye upon his hand, which in 
deed was handsome and white. 

"Your eminence," said the august visitor, "it was my 
first intention to speak of the affairs which have brought me 
here, to the queen, my sister, but I have reflected that polit 
ical matters are more especially the concerns of men." 

" Madame," said Mazarin, " be assured that your majesty 
overwhelms me with this flattering distinction." 

" He is very gracious," thought the queen; " has he guessed 
my errand, then?" 

"Give," continued the cardinal, "your commands to the 
most respectful of your servants." 

" Alas, sir," replied the queen, " I have lost the habit of 
giving commands, and have adopted instead that of making 
petitions; I am come to petition you, too happy should my 
prayer be heard favorably." 

" I listen, madame, with interest," said Mazarin. 

" Your eminence, it concerns the war which the king, my 
husband, now sustains against his rebellious subjects. You 
are, perhaps, ignorant that they are fighting in England," 
added she, with a melancholy smile, " and that, in a short 
time, they will fight in a much more decided fashion than 
they have done hitherto." 

" I am completely ignorant of it, madame," said the car 
dinal, accompanying his words with a slight shrug of the 
shoulders; " alas, our own wars have quite absorbed the time 



208 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

and the miud of a poor, incapable, and infirm minister like 
myself." 

" Well, then, your eminence," said the queen, " I must 
Inform you that Charles I., my husband, is on the eve of a 
decisive engagement. In case of a check " (Mazarin made 
a slight movement) " one must foresee everything; in case 
of a check, he desires, to retire into France, and to live 
here as a private individual. What do you say to this 
project?" 

The cardinal had listened without permitting a single fiber 
of his face to betray what he felt, and his smile remained as 
it ever was false and flattering, and, when the queen finished 
speaking, he said: 

" Do you think, madame, that France, agitated and dis 
turbed as it is, would be a safe refuge for a dethroned king? 
How will the crown, which is so scarce firmly set on the head 
of Louis IV., support a double weight?" 

" This weight was not so heavy when I was in peril," in 
terrupted the queen, with a sad smile, " and I ask no more 
for my husband than has been done for me; you see that we 
are very humble monarchs, sir." 

" Oh, you, madame, you," the cardinal hastened to say, 
in order to cut short the explanations which he foresaw 
were coming, "with regard to you, that is another thing; a 
daughter of Henry IV., of that great, that sublime 
sovereign " 

" All which does not prevent you refusing hospitality to 
his son-in-law, sir! Nevertheless, you ought to remember 
that that great, that sublime monarch, when proscribed at 
one time, as my husband may be, demanded aid from 
England, and that England accorded it to him; and it is but 
just to say that Queen Elizabeth was not his niece." 

"Peccato !" said Mazarin, writhing beneath this simple elo 
quence, "your majesty does not understand me; you judge 
my intentions wrongly, and that is because doubtless I ex 
plain myself ill in French." 

" Speak Italian, sir: ere the cardinal, your predecessor, 
sent our mother, Marie de Medicis, to die in exile, she 
taught us that language. If anything yet remains of that 
great, that sublime king, Henry, of whom you have just 
spoken, he would be much surprised at BO little pity for his 
family being united to such a profound admiration of him 
self." 

The perspiration hung in large drops upon Mazariu's brow. 

"That admiration is, on the contrary, so great, so rea^ 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 209 

madame," returned M;izarin, without noticing the change of 
language offered to him by the queen, " that if the king, 
Charles I., whom heaven protect from evil! came into France 
I would offer him my house my own house but, alas! it 
would be but an unsafe retreat. Some day the people will 
burn that house, as they burned that of the Marechal d'Ancre. 
Poor Concino Concini! and yet he but desired the good of 
ihe people." 

" Yes, my lord, like yourself!" said the queen ironically. 

Mazarin pretended not to understand the double meaning 
of his own sentence, but continued to compassionate the fate 
of Concino Concini. 

" Well, then, your eminence," said the queen, becoming 
impatient, " what is your answer?" 

" Madame," cried Mazarin, more and more moved, "will 
your majesty permit me to give you counsel?" 

" Speak, sir," replied the queen; " the counsels of so pru 
dent a man as yourself ought certainly to be good." 

" Madame, believe me, the king ought to defend himself 
to the last." 

" He has done so, sir, and this last battle, which he en 
counters with resources much inferior to those of the enemy, 
proves that he will not yield without a struggle; but, in case 
he is beaten?" 

" Well, madame, in that case my advice I know that I 
am very bold to offer advice to your majesty my advice is 
that the king should not leave his kingdom. Absent kings 
are very soon forgotten; if he passes over to France his cause 
is lost." 

" But then," persisted the queen, " if such be your advice, 
and you have his interest at heart, send him some help of 
men and money, for I can do nothing for him: I have sold 
even to my last diamond to aid him. If I had had a single 
ornament left, I should have bought wood this winter to 
make a fire for my daughter and myself." 

" Oh, madame," said Mazarin, " your majesty knows not 
what you ask. On the day when foreign succor follows in 
the train of a king to replace him on his throne, it is an 
avowal that* he no longer possesses the help and the love of 
his subjects." 

" To the point, sir," said the queen, " to the point, and 
answer me, yes or no; if the king persists in remaining in 
England, will you send him succor? If he comes to France, 
will you accord him hospitality? What do you intend to do? 
speak." 



210 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" I will go this instant and consult the queen, and we will 
refer the affair at once to the parliament." 

" With which you are at war, is it not so? You will charge 
Broussel to report it. Enough, sir, enough. I understand 
you, or rather, I am wrong. Go to the parliament; for it 
was from this parliament, the enemy of monarchs, that the 
daughter of the great, the sublime Henry IV., whom you so 
much admire, received the only relief this winter, which pre 
vented her from dying of hunger and cold." 

And with these words Henrietta rose in majestic indigna 
tion, while the cardinal, raising his hands clasped toward 
her, exclaimed, " Ah, madame, madame, how little you know 
me, mon Dieu !" 

" It signifies little," said Mazarin, when he was alone; " it 
gave me pain, and it is an ungracious part to play. But I 
have said nothing either to the one or to the other. Bernouin 1" 

Bernouin entered. 

" See if the young man with the black doublet and the 
short hair, who was with me just now, is still in the palace." 

Bernouin went out, and soon returned with Comminges, 
who was on guard. 

" Your eminence," said Comminges, "as I was reconduct- 
ing the young man for whom you have asked, he approached 
the glass door of the gallery, and gazed intently upon some 
object, doubtless the picture by Raphael, which is opposite 
the door. He reflected for a second, and then descended the 
stairs. I believe I saw him mount on a gray horse and 
leave the palace court. But is not your eminence going to 
the queen?" 

" For what purpose?" 

" Monsieur de Guitant, my uncle, has just told me that her 
majesty has received news of the army." 

" It is well I will go." 

Comminges had seen rightly, and Mordaunt had really 
acted as he had related. In crossing the gallery parallel to 
the large glass gallery, he perceived De Winter, who was 
waiting until the queen had finished her negotiation. 

At this sight the young man stopped short, not in admira 
tion of Raphael's picture, but as if fascinated at he sight of 
some terrible object. His eyes dilated, and a shudder ran 
through his body. One would have said that he longed to 
break through the wall of glass which separated him from his 
enemy; for if Comminges had seen with what an expression 
of hatred the eyes of this young man were fixed upon De 
Winter, he would not have doubted for an instant but that 
the English lord was his mortal foe. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

But he stopped doubtless to reflect; for, instead of allow 
ing his first impulse, which had been to go straight to Lord 
De Winter, to carry him away, he leisurely descended the 
staircase, left the palace with his head down, mounted his 
horse, which he reined in at the corner of the Rue Eichelieu, 
and with his eyes fixed on the gate, he waited until the 
queen's carriage had left the court. 

He did not wait long, for the queen scarcely remained a 
quarter of an hour with Mazariu; but this quarter of an hour 
of expectation appeared a century to him. At lust the heavy 
machine, which was called a chariot in those days, came out, 
rumbling against the gates, and De Winter, still on horse 
back, bent again to the door to converse with her majesty. 

The horses started into a trot, and took the road to the 
Louvre, which they entered. Before leaving the convent of 
the Carmelites, Henrietta had desired her daughter to attend 
her at the palace, which she had inhabited for a long time, 
and which she had only left because their poverty seemed to 
them more difficult to bear in gilded chambers. 

Mordaunt followed the carriage, and when he had watched 
it drive under the somber arches, he went and stationed him 
self under a wall over which the shadow was extended, and 
remained motionless, amid the moldings of Jean Goujon, 
like a bas-relievo representing an equestrian statue. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

HOW, SOMETIMES, THE UNHAPPY MISTAKE CHANCE FOR 
PROVIDENCE. 

" WELL, inadame," said De Winter, when the queen had 
dismissed her attendants. 

" Well, my lord, what I had foreseen has come to pass.'' 

"What? does the cardinal refuse to receive the king? 
France refuse hospitality to an unfortunate prince? But it 
is for the first time, madame." 

" I did not say France, my lord, I said the cardinal, and 
the cardinal is not even a Frenchman." 

" But did you see the queen?" 

" It is useless," replied Henrietta; " the queen will not say 
yes when the cardinal has said no. Are you not aware that 
this Italian directs everything, both indoors and out? And, 
moreover, I should not be surprised had we been forestalled 
by Cromwell; he was embarrassed while speaking to me, and 



212 TWENTY YEARS AFTKIl. 

yet quite firm in his determination to refuse. Then, did 
you not observe the agitation in the Palais Royal, the passing 
to and fro of busy people? Can they have received any news, 
my lord?" 

" Not from England, madame. I made such haste that I 
am certain of not having been forestalled. I set out three 
days ago, passing miraculously through the Puritan army, 
and I took post-horses with my servant Tony: the horses upon 
which we were mounted were bought in Pans. Besides, the 
king, I am certain, awaits your majesty's reply before risking 
anything." 

" You will tell him, my lord," resumed the queen, despair 
ingly, " that I can do nothing: that I have suffered as much 
as himself more than he has obliged as I am to eat the 
bread of exile, and to ask hospitality from false friends who 
smile at my tears; and as regards his royal person, he must 
sacrifice it generously, and die like a king. I shall go and 
die by his side." 

" Madame, madame!" exclaimed De Winter, "your majesty 
abandons yourself to despair; and yet, perhaps, there still 
remains some hope." 

"No friends left, my lord; no other friends left in the 
whole world but yourself! Oh God!" exclaimed the poor 
queen, raising her eyes to heaven, " have you indeed taken 
back all the generous hearts which existed in the world?" 

"I hope not, madame," replied De Winter thoughtfully; 
"I once spoke to you of four men." 

" What can be done with four men?" 

" Four devoted, resolute men can do much, be assured, 
madame; and those of whom I speak have done much at one 
time." 

" And these men were your friends?" 

" One of them held my life in his hands, and gave it tome. 
I know not whether he is still my friend; but since that time 
I have remained his." 

" And these men are in France, my lord?" 

" I believe so." 

"Tell me their names; perhaps I have heard them men 
tioned, and might be able to aid yon in finding them." 

" One of them was called the Chevalier d'Artagnan." 

" Oh! my lord, if I do not mistake, the Chavalier d'Artag 
nan is a lieutenant of the guards; but take care, for I fear 
that this man is devoted entirely to the cardinal." 

"That would be a misfortune," said De Winter; "and I 
shall begin to think that we are really doomed." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 213 

" But the others/' said the queen, who clung to this last 
hope as a shipwrecked man clings to the remains of his vessel: 
" the others, my lord!" 

" The second I heard his name by chance; for before 
fighting us, these four gentlemen told us their names; the 
second was called the Count de la Fre. As for the two 
others, I had so much the habit of calling them by nicknames, 
that I have forgotten their real ones." 

" Oh, mon Dieu, it is a matter of great urgency to find 
them out," said the queen, ie since you think these worthy 
gentlemen might be so useful to the king." 

"Oh, yes," said De Winter, " for they are the same men." 

"Well then, my lord, they must be found; but what can 
four men,. or rather three men, do? for I tell you, you must 
not count on Monsieur d'Artagnau." 

"It will be one valiant sword the less, but there will 
remain still three, without reckoning my own; now four 
devoted men round the king to protect him from his enemies, 
to be at his side in battle, to aid him in counsel, to escort 
him in flight, are sufficient not to make the king a con 
queror, but to save him if conquered; and whatever Mazarin 
may say once on the shores of France, your royal husband 
may find as many retreats and asylums as the sea-bird finds 
in storms." 

" Seek them, my lord seek these gentleman; and if they 
will consent to go with you to England, I will give to each a 
duchy the day that we re-ascend the throne, besides as much 
gold as would pave Whitehall. Seek them, my lord. Seek 
them, I conjure you." 

"I will search for them well, madame," said De Winter, 
"and doubtless I shall find them but time fails me. Has 
your majesty forgotten that the king expects your reply, and 
awaits it in agony?" 

" Then, indeed, we are lost," cried the queen, in the fullness 
of a broken heart. 

At this moment the door opened, and the young Hen 
rietta appeared; then the queen, with that wonderful 
strength which is the heroism of a mother, repressed her 
tears, and motioned to De Winter to change the subject of 
conversation. 

" What do you want, Henrietta?" she demanded. 

" My mother," replied the young princess, " a cavalier has 
just entered the Louvre, aud wishes to present his respects to 
your majesty; he arrives from the army, and has, he says, a 
letter to remit to you on the part of the Marechal de Grain- 
mont, I think." 



214 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Ah!" said the queen to De Winter, ''he is one of my 
faithful adherents; but do you not observe, my dear lord, 
that we are so poorly served that it is my daughter who fills 
the office of introducer?" 

" Madame, have pity on me," exclaimed De Winter; "you 
break my heart!" 

" And who is this cavalier, Henrietta?" asked the queen. 

"I saw him from the window, madaine; he is a young 
man who appears scarcely sixteen years of age, and who is 
called the Viscount de Bragelonne." 

The queen, smiling, made a sign with her head; the young 
princess opened the door, and Raoul appeared on the 
threshold. 

Advancing a few steps toward the queen, he knelt down. 

" Madame," said he, " I bear to your majesty a letter from 
my friend the Count de Guiche, who told me he had the 
honor of being your servant; this letter contains important 
news, and the expression of his respect." 

At the name of the Count de Guiche, a blush spread over 
the cheeks of the young princess, and the queen glanced at 
her with some degree of severity. 

" You told me that the letter was from the Marechal de 
Grammont, Henrietta!" said the queen. 

" I thought so, madame," stammered the young girl. 

" It is my fault, madame," said Raoul. " I did announce 
myself, in truth, as coming on the part of the Marechal de 
Grammont; but being wounded in the right arm, he was un 
able to write, and therefore the Count de Guiche served as 
his secretary." 

" There has been fighting, then?" asked the queen, mo 
tioning to Raoul to rise. 

" Yes, madame," said the young man. 

At this announcement of a battle having taken place, the 
young princess opened her lips as if to ask a question of in 
terest; but her lips closed again without articulating a word, 
while the color gradually faded from her cheeks. 

The queen saw this, and doubtless her maternal heart 
translated this emotion, for addressing Raoul again: 

" And no evil has happened to the young Count de Guiche?" 
she asked; " for not only is he ourservant, as you say, sir, but 
more; he is one of our friends." 

"No, madame," replied Raoul; "on the contrary, he 
gained great glory on that day, and had the honor of being 
embraced by his highness the prince on the field of battle." 

The young princess clasped her hands; and then, ashamed 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 215 

of having been betrayed into such a demonstration of joy, 
she half turned away, and bent over a vase of roses, as if to 
inhale their odor. 

" Let us see/' said the queen, " what the count says." And 
she opened the letter and read: 

" MADAME: Being unable to have the honor of writing to 
you myself, by reason of a wound which I have received in 
the right hand, I have commanded my sou, the Count de 
Guiche, who with his father, is equally your humble servant, 
to write to tell you that we have just gained the battle of 
Lens, and that this victory cannot fail to give great power to 
the Cardinal Mazarin and to the queen over the affairs of 
Europe. If her majesty will have faith in my counsels, she 
ought to profit by this event to address at this moment, in 
favor of her august husband, the court of France. The Vis 
count de Bragelonue, who will have the honor of remitting 
this letter to your majesty, is the friend of my son, to whom 
he owes his life; he is a gentleman in whom your majesty can 
confide entirely, in the case when your majesty may have 
some verbal or written order to forward to me. 

" I have the honor to be, with respect, etc., 

" MARECHAL DE GRAMMONT." 

At the moment, when mention occurred of his having 
rendered a service to the count, Raoul could not help turning 
his eyes toward the young princess, and then he saw in her 
eyes an expression of infinite gratitude to the young man; 
he no longer doubted that the daughter of King Charles the 
First loved his friend. 

"The battle of Lens gained!" said the queen; "they are 
lucky indeed for me they can gain battles! Yes, the Mare- 
chal de Grammont is right; this will change the aspect of 
affairs; but I much fear it will do nothing for ours, even if 
it does not harm them. This is recent news, sir," continued 
she, "and I thank you for having made such haste to bring 
it to me; without this letter, I should not have heard it till 
to-morrow perhaps after to-morrow the last of all Paris." 

" Madame," said Kaoul, " the Louvre is but the second 
palace which this news has reached; it is as yet unknown to 
all, and I had sworn to the Count de Guiche to remit 
this letter to your majesty ere even I should embrace my 
guardian." 

" Your guardian! is he too a Bragelonne?" asked Lord de 
Winter. "I knew formerly a Bragelonne is he still alive?" 



216 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" No, sir, he is dead; and I believe it is from him that my 
guardian, whose near relation he was, inherited the estate 
from which I take my name." 

"And your guardian, sir/' asked the queen, who could not 
help feeling some interest in the handsome young man before 
her, " what is his name?" 

" The Count de la Fere, madame," replied the young man, 
bowing. 

De Winter made a gesture of surprise, and the queen turned 
to him with a start of joy. 

"The Count de la Fere!" cried De Winter in his turn. 
"Oh, sir, reply, I entreat you is not the Count de la Fere a 
noble, whom I remember handsome and brave, a musketeer 
under Louis XIII., and who must be now about forty-seven 
or forty-eight years of age?" 

" Yes, sir, you are right in every respect." 

" And who served under a borrowed name?" 

" Under the name of Athos. Latterly I heard MB friend 
Monsieur d'Artagnan give him that name." 

" That is it, madame, that is the same. God be praised! 
And he is in Paris?" continued he, addressing Rapul; then, 
turning to the queen " We may still hope. Providence has 
declared for us, since I have found this brave man again in so 
miraculous a manner. And, sir, where does he reside, pray?" 

"The Count de la Fere lodges in the Hue Guenegaud, 
Hotel du Grand Roi Charlemagne." 

" Thanks, sir. Inform this dear friend that he may remain 
within. I shall go and see him immediately." 

"Sir, I obey with pleasure, if her majesty will permit me 
to depart." 

" Go, Monsieur de Bragelonne," said the queen, " and be 
assured of our affection." 

Raoul bent respectfully before the two princesses, and, 
bowing to De Winter, departed. 

The queen and De Winter continued to converse for some 
time in low voices, in order that the young princess should 
not overhear them; but the precaution was needless; she was 
in deep converse with her own thoughts. 

Then, when De Winter rose to take leave: 

" Listen, my lord," said the queen; " I have preserved this 
diamond cross which came from my mother, and this order 
of St. Michael, which came from my husband. They are 
worth about fifty thousand pounds. I had sworn to die of 
hunger rather than to part with these precious pledges; but 
now that this ornament may be useful to him or to his 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 217 

defenders, everything must be sacrificed to the hope of it. 
Take them, and if you need money for your expedition, sell 
them fearlessly, my lord. But should you find the means of 
retaining them, remember, my lord, that I shall esteem you 
as having rendered the greatest service which a gentleman 
can render to a queen; and in the day of my prosperity, he 
who brings me this order and this cross will be blessed by me 
and my children." 

" Madame/* replied De Winter, " your majesty will be 
served by a man devoted to you. I hasten to deposit these 
two objects in a safe place, nor should I accept them if the 
resources of our ancient fortune were left to us; but our 
estates are confiscated, our ready money is exhausted, and we 
are reduced to turn into resources everything we possess. In 
an hour hence I shall be with the Count de la Fere, and 
to-morrow your majesty shall have a definite answer." 

The queen tendered her hand to Lord de Winter, who, kiss 
ing it respectfully, went out, traversing alone, unconducted, 
those large dark and deserted apartments, and brushing away 
tears which, blase as he was by fifty years spent as a courtier, 
he could not help shedding at the spectacle of this royal dis 
tress, so dignified and yet so intense. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

THE UNCLE AND THE NEPHEW. 

THE horse and servant belonging to De Winter were wait 
ing for him at the door; he sauntered toward his abode very 
thoughtfully, looking behind him from time to time to con 
template the dark and silent fagade of the Louvre. It was 
then that he saw a horseman, as it were, detach himself from 
the wall and follow him at a little distance. In leaving the 
Palais Royale he remembered to have observed a similar 
shadow. 

' Tony," he sa\d, motioning to his groom to approach. 

* Here I am, my lord." 

'Did you remark that man who is following us?" 
' Yes, my lord." 
'Who is he?" 

* I do not know, only he has followed your grace from the 
Palais Royale, stopped at the Louvre to wait for you, and now 
leaves the Louvre with you." 

" Some spy of the cardinal," said De Winter to him aside. 
** .Let us pretend not to notice that he is watching us." 
10 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



218 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

And spurring on, he pursued the labyrinth of streets which 
led to his hotel, situated near the Marais, for having for so 
long a time lived near the Place Royale, Lord de Winter 
naturally returned to lodge near his ancient dwelling. 

The unknown put his horse into a gallop. 

De Winter dismounted at his hotel, went up into his apart 
ment, intending to watch the spy; but as he was about to 
place his gloves and hat on a table, he saw reflected in a 
glass opposite to him a figure which stood on the threshold of 
the room. He turned round, and Mordaunt was before him. 

There was a moment of frozen silence between these two 
men. 

"Sir," said De Winter, "I thought I had already made 
you aware that I am weary of this persecution; withdraw, 
then, or I shall call, and have you turned out, as you were in 
London. I am not your uncle; I know you not." 

" My uncle," replied Mordaunt, with his harsh and banter 
ing tone, "you are mistaken; you will not have me turned 
out this time, as you did in London; you dare not. As for 
denying that I am your nephew, you will think twice about 
it, now that I have learned some things of which I was igno 
rant a few days ago." 

"And how does it concern me what you have learned?" 
said De Winter. 

" Oh, it concerneth you much, my uncle, I am sure; and 
you will soon be of my opinion, "added he, with a smile which 
sent a shudder through the veins of him whom he addressed. 
" When I presented myself before you for the first time in 
London, it was to ask you what had become of my wealth; 
the second time it was to demand who had sullied rny name; 
and this time I come before you to ask a question far more 
terrible than any other: to ask you, my lord, what have you 
done with your sister your sister, who was my mother?" 

De Winter shrank back from the fire of those scorching 
eyes. 

"Your mother?" he said. 

"Yes, my lord, my mother," replied the young man, 
advancing into the room until he was face to face with Lord 
de Winter, and crossing his arms. " I have asked the heads 
man of Bethune," he said, his voice hoarse and his face livid 
with passion and grief; " and the headsman of Bethune gave 
me a reply." 

De Winter fell back into a chair as if struck by a thunder 
bolt, and in vain attempted to answer. 

" Yes/' continued the young man, " all is now explained; 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 219 

with this key the abyss is opened. My mother had inherited 
an estate from her husband, and you have assassinated my 
mother; my name would have secured to me the paternal es 
tate, and you have despoiled me of my name, you have 
deprived me of my fortune. I am no longer astonfshed that 
you knew me not. I am not surprised that you refused to 
recognize me. When a man is a robber, it is unbecoming to 
call him a nephew whom one has impoverished; when one is 
a murderer, to term that man whom one has made an orphan 
a relative. " 

These words produced a contrary effect to what Mordaunt 
had anticipated. De Winter remembered the monster that 
milady had been; he rose, dignified and calm, restraining by 
the severity of his look the wild glances of the young man. 

" You desire to fathom this horrible secret?" said De Win 
ter; " well, then, so be it. Know, then, what that woman 
was for whom to-day you come to call me to account. That 
woman had, in all probability, poisoned my brother, and in 
order to inherit from me she was about to assassinate me in 
my turn. I have proof of it. What say you to that?" 

" I say that she was my mother." 

" She caused the unfortunate Duke of Buckingham to be 
stabbed by a man who was, ere that, honest, good, and pure. 
What say you to that crime, of which I have the proof?" 

" She was my mother." 

" On our return to France she had a young woman who 
was attached to one of her foes poisoned in the convent of the 
Augustines at Bethune. Will this crime persuade you of the 
justice of her punishment? of this I have the proofs." 

" Silence, sir she was my mother," exclaimed the young 
man, his face running with sweat, his hair, like Hamlet's, 
standing upon his forehead, and raging with fury; "she was 
my mother! her crimes, I know them not her disorders, I 
know them not her vices, I know them not. But this 1 
know, that I had a mother, that five men leagued against one 
woman, murdered her clandestinely by night silently like 
cowards. I know that you were one of them, my uncle, and 
that you cried louder than the others * she must die.' There 
fore I warn you and listen well to my words, that they may 
be engraved on your memory, never to be forgotten this 
murder which has robbed me of everything this murder, 
which has deprived me of my name this murder, which lias 
impoverished me this murder, which has made me corrupt, 
wicked, implacable I shall summon you to account for it 
first, and then those who were your accomplices when I dis 
cover them!" 



220 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

With hatred in his eyes, foaming at his mouth, and his fist 
extended, Mordaunt had advanced one more step a threaten 
ing, terrible step toward De Winter. The latter put his 
hand to his sword, and said, with the smile of a man who for 
thirty years has jested with death: 

" Would you assassinate me, sir? Then I shall recog 
nize you as my nephew, for you are a worthy son of such a 
mother." 

" No," replied Mordaunt, forcing all the veins in his face, 
and the muscles of his body, to resume their usual places and to 
be calm; " no, I shall not kill you at least, not at this mo- 
ment,for without you I could not discover the others. But when 
I have found them, then tremble, sir. I have stabbed the 
headsman of Bethune stabbed him without mercy or pity, 
and he was the least guilty of you all." 

With these words the young man went out, and descended 
the stair sufficiently calm to pass unobserved; then, upon the 
lowest landing-place, he passed Tony leaning over the balus 
trade, waiting only for a call from his master to mount to his 
room. 

But De Winter did not call; crushed, enfeebled, he re 
mained standing, and with listening ear; tiien only, when he 
had heard the step of the horse going away, he fell back on a 
chair saying: 

" My God, I thank Thee that he knows me alone." 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

PATERNAL AFFECTION. 

WHILE this terrible scene was passing at Lord de Winter's, 
Athos, seated near his window, his elbow on the table, and 
his head supported on his hand, was listening intently tc 
Raoul's account of the adventures he met with on his journey, 
and the details of the battle. 

Listening to the relation of those first emotions so fresh 
and pure, the fine, noble face of Athos betrayed indescribable 
pleasure; he inhaled the tones of that young voice as har 
monious music. He forgot all that was dark in the past, and 
that was cloudy in the future. It almost seemed as if the 
return of this much-loved boy had changed his fears into 
hopes. Athos was happy happy as he had never been 
before. 



TWENT.T YEARS AFTER. 221 

"And you assisted and took part in this great battie, Brage- 
lonne?" said the ancient musketeer. 
Yes, sir." 

And it was a hard one?" 

' His highness the prince charged eleven times in person.'* 
' He is a great commander, Bragelonne?" 
' He is a hero, sir; I did not lose sight of him for an 
instant. Oh! how fine it is to be called Conde, and to be so 
worthy of such a name." 

" He is calm and radiant, is he not." 

" As calm as at parade; as radiant as at a fe"te. When we 
went up to the enemy, it was slowly; we were forbidden to 
draw first, and we were marching toward the Spaniards, who 
were on a heighth with -lowered muskets. When we arrived 
about thirty paces from them, the prince turned round to the 
soldiers, * Comrades/ he said, 'you are about to suffer a 
furious discharge; but ' There was such dead silence- 
that friends and enemies could have heard these words; then 
raising his sword, 'Sound trumpets!' he cried." 

"Well, very good; you will do as much when the oppor 
tunity occurs will you, Eaoul?" 

" 1 know not, sir, but I thought it was very fine and 
grand." 

" Were you afraid, Raoul?" asked the count. 

"Yes, sir," replied the young man naively; "I felt a great 
chill at my heart, and at the word ' fire,' which resounded in 
Spanish from the enemy's ranks, I closed my eyes and thought 
of you." 

" In honest truth, Raoul?" said Athos, pressing his hand. 

" Yes, sir; at that instant there was such a firing that one 
might have supposed that the infernal regions were opened, 
and those who were not killed felt the heat of the flames. I 
opened my eyes, astonished at my being alive, or at least on- 
hurt; a third of the squadron were lying on the ground, 
multilated and bloody. At this moment I encountered the 
eye of the prince, and I had but one thought, and that was 
that he was observing me. I spurred on, and found myself 
in the enemy's ranks." 

" And the prince was pleased with you?" 

" He told me so, at least, sir, when he desired me to return 
to Paris with Monsieur de Ch&tillon, who was charged to 
carry the news to the queen, and to bring the colors we had 
taken. ' Go,' said he, * the enemy will not rally for fifteen 
days, and until that time 1 have no need of your service. Go 
and see those whom you love, and who love you, and tell my 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

sister De Longuevillo that I thank her for the presont she has 
inmlo me of you.' And 1 came, sir." added liaonl, gazing at 
the count with a smile of real nlTiv.iuui. for I thought you 
would be glad to see me again." 

Athos draw the young man toward him, and pressed his 
lips to his brow, as ho would have done to a young daughter. 

"And now, Raoul," said he, "you are launched; you have 
dukes for friends, a marshal of France for a godfather,. a 
prince of the blood as commander, and on the day of your 
return you have been received by two queens; it is rather well 
for a novice." 

"Oh, sir!" said Raoul, suddenly, "you recall something 
to me, which, in my haste to relate my exploits, I had for 
gotten; it is that there was with her majesty, the quoun of 
England, a gentleman who, when I pronounced your name, 
uttered a cry of surprise and joy; he said he was a friend of 
yours asked your address, and is coming to see you." 

" What is his name?" 

"I did not dare ask, sir; he spoke elegantly, although I 
thought from his accent ho was an Englishman." 

"Ah!" said Athos, leaning down his head as if to remem 
ber who it could be. Then, when ho raised it again, he was 
struck by the presence of a man who was standing at the open 
door, and was gazing at him with a compassionate air. 

"Lord do Winter?" exclaimed the count. 

"Athos, my friend!" 

And the two gentlemen wore for an instant looked in each 
other's arms; then Athos, looking into his friend's face, and 
taking him by both hands, said: 

" What ails you, my lord? you appear as unhappy as I am 
happy." 

" Yes, truly, dear friend; and I may even say that the sight 
of you increases my dismay." 

And De Winter glancing round him, liaonl quickly under*, 
stood that the two friends wished to be alone, and he there 
fore left the room unaffectedly. 

"Gome, now that wo are alone," said Athos, " let us talk 
of yourself." 

" While wo are alone let us speak of ourselves," replied De 
Winter. Ho is here." 

" Who?" 

"Milady's son." 

Athos, who was again struck by this name, which seemed 
to pursue him like an echo, hesitated for a moment, then 
slightly knitting his brows, he calmly said: 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 223 

'I know it; Grirnaud met him between Bethune and Ar 
ras, and then came here to warn me of his presence." 

" Does Grimaud know him, then?" 

"No; but he was present at the deathbed of a man who 
knew him." 

" The headsman of BSthune?" exclaimed De Winter. 

"You know about that?" cried Athos, astonished. 

"He has just left me/' replied De Winter, "after telling 
me all. Ah! my friend! what a horrible scene! Why did we 
not destroy the child with the mother?" 

" What need you fear?" said Athos, recovering from the 
instinctive fear he had at first experienced, by the aid of rea 
son; "are we not here to defend ourselves? Is this young 
man an assassin by profession a murderer in cold blood? 
lie has killed the executioner of B&thune in an impulse of 
passion, but now his fury is assuaged." 

De Winter smiled sorrowfully, and shook his head. 

" Do you not then know the race?" said he. 

"Pooh!" said Athos, trying to smile in his turn. "It 
must have lost its ferocity in the second generation. Besides, 
my friend, Providence has warned us that we may be on our 
guard. All we can do is to wait. Let us wait; and, as I said 
before, let us speak of yourself. What brings you to Paris?" 

*' Affairs of importance which you shall know later. But 
what is this that I hear from her maiesty, the Queen of Eng 
land? Monsieur d'Artagnan is witn Mazarin! Pardon my 
frankness, dear friend. I neither hate nor blame the cardi 
nal, and your opinions will be held ever sacred by me; do you 
happen to belong to this man?" 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan," replied Athos, "is in the service; 
ho is a soldier, and obeys the constituted authority. Mon 
sieur d'Artagnan is not rich, and has need of his position as 
lieutenant to enable him to live. Millionaires like yourself, 
my lord, are rare in France." 

"Alas!" said De Winter, " I am at this moment as poor as 
he is, if not poorer; but to return to our subject." 

" Well, then, you wish to know if I am of Mazarin's party. 
No. Pardon my frankness, also, my lord." 

"I am obliged to you, count, for this pleasing intelligence f 
You make me young and happy again by it. Ah! so you are 
not a Mazarinist? Delightful! Indeed, you could not be 
long to him. But pardon me, are you free?" 

" What mean you by free?" 

"I mean to ask if you be not married?" 

"Ah! as to that, no," replied Athos, laughing. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Because that young mail so handsome, so elegant, so 
polished " 

" He is a child that I have adopted, and who does not even 
know who was his father." 

" Very well you are always the same, Athos, great and 

fenerous. Are you still friends with Monsieur Porthos and 
lonsieur Aramis?" 

" And add Monsieur d'Artagnan, too, my lord. We still 
remain four friends devoted to each other; but when it 
becomes a question of serving the cardinal, or of fighting, 
of being Mazarinists or Frondists, then we are only two." 

" Is Monsieur Aramis with D'Artagnan?" asked Lord de 
Winter. 

" No," said Athos: " Monsieur Aramis does me the honor 
to share my opinions." 

" Could you put me in communication with your witty and 
agreeable friend? Is he changed?" 

" He has become an abbe,- that is all." 

" You alarm me; his profession must have made him re 
nounce any great undertakings." 

"On the contrary," said Athos, smiling, "he has never 
been so much a musketeer as since he became an abbe 1 , and 
you will find him a veritable soldier." 

'/ Could you engage to bring him to me to-morrow morning 
at ten o'clock, on the Pont du Louvre?" 

" Oh, oh!" exclaimed Athos, smiling, "you have a duel in 
prospect." 

"Yes, count, and a splendid duel, too; a duel in which I 
hope you will take your part." 

" Where are we to go to, my lord?" 

" To her majesty the Queen of England, who has desired 
me to present yon to her." 

" This is an enigma," said Athos; " but it matters not; 
from the moment that you have guessed the word, I ask no 
further. Will your lordship do me the honor to sup with 
me?" 

" Thanks, count, no," replied De Winter. " I own to 
you that that yonng man's visit has taken away my appetite, 
and will probably deprive me of sleep. What undertaking 
can have brought him to Paris? It was not to meet me that 
he came, for he was ignorant of my journey. This young 
man terrifies me, my lord; for there lies in him a sanguinary 
predisposition." 

"What occupies him in England?" 

" He is one of Cromwell's most enthusiastic disciples." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 225 

Bnt wnat has attached him to this cause? His father and 
mother were Catholics, I believe?" 

" His hatred of the king, who deprived him of his estates, 
and forbade him to bear the name of De Winter." 

" And how is he now called?" 

" Mordaunt." 

" A Puritan, yet, disguised as a monk, he travels alone in 
France." 

"Do you say as a monk?" 

" It was thus, and by mere accident may God pardon me 
if I blaspheme that he heard the confession of the execu 
tioner of Bethune." 

"Then I understand it all; he has been sent by Cromwell 
to Mazarin, and the queen guessed rightly; we have been 
forestalled. Everything is clear to me now. Adieu, count, 
till to-morrow. 

"But the night is dark," said Athos, perceiving that Lord 
de Winter seemed more uneasy than he wished to show; " and 
you have no servant. " 

"I have Tony, a good but simple youth." 

"Holloa there, Grimaud, Olivain, and Blaisois, call the 
viscount here, and take the musket with you." 

Blaisois was the tall youth, half groom, half peasant, whom 
we saw at the Chateau de Bragelonne, whom Athos had 
christened by the name of his province. 

" Viscount," said Athos to Raoul as he entered, "you will 
conduct my lord as far as his hotel, and permit no one to 
approach him." 

"Oh! count," said De Winter, "for whom do you take 
me?" 

"Fora stranger who does not know Paris," said Athos, 
" and to whom the viscount will show the way." 

De Winter shook him by the hand. 

" Grimaud," said Athos, "put yourself at the head of the 
troop, and beware of the monk." 

Grimaud shuddered, and nodding, awaited the departure, 
regarding the butt of his musket with silent eloquence. 
Then, obeying the orders given him by Athos, he headed the 
little procession, bearing the torch in one hand and the mus 
ket in the other, until it reached the door of De Winter's inn, 
when, striking on the door with his list, he bowed to my lord 
without saying a word. 

The same order was pursued in returning; nor did Gri- 
maud's searching glance discover anything of a suspicious 
appearance, save a dark shadow in ambuscade at the corner 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

of the Rue Gueiie'gaud of the Quai. He fancied also that in 
going he had already observed the street watcher who had 
attracted his attention. He pushed on toward him, but 
before he could reach it the shadow had disappeared into an 
alley, in which Grimaud deemed it scarcely prudent to pursue 
it. 

The next day, on awaking, the count perceived Raoul by 
his bedside. The young man was already dressed, and was 
reading a new book by M. Chapelain. 

"Already up, Raoul?" exclaimed the count. 

" Yes, sir," replied Raoul, with a slight hesitation. "1 did 
not sleep well." 

" You, Raoul, not sleep well! then you must have some 
thing on your mind!" said Athos. 

" Sir, you will, perhaps, think that I am in a great hurry 
to leave you, when I have only just arrived, but " 

" Have you only two days of leave, Raoul?" 

" On the contrary, sir, I have ten; nor is it to the camp 
that I wish to go." 

" Where then?" said Athos, smiling, " if it be not a secret. 
You are now almost a man, since you have made your first 
passage of arms, and have acquired the right to go where you 
will without telling me." 

"Never, sir," said Raoul, "as long as I possess the happi 
ness of having you for a protector, shall I deem I have the 
right of freeing myself from a guardianship which is so valu 
able to me. I have, therefore, the wish to go and pass a day 
only at Blois. You look at me, and are going to laugh at 
me." 

"Noj OQ the contrary, I am not inclined to laugh," said 
Athos, suppressing a sigh. " You wish to see Blois again; it 
is but very natural." 

" Then you permit me to go, and you are not angry in 
your heart!" exclaimed Raoul joyously. 

" Certainly; and why should I regret what will give you 
pleasure?" 

" Oh! how kind you are," exclaimed the young man, pres^ 
sing his guardian's hand; " and I can set out immediately?" 

" When you like, Raoul." 

" Sir," said Raoul, as he turned to leave the room, " I 
have thought of one thing, and that is about the Duchess of 
Chevreuse, so kind to me, and to whom I owe my introduc 
tion to the prince." 

" And yon ought to thank her, Raoul. Well, try the Hotel 
de Luynes, Raoul, and ask if the duchess can receive you. I 



TWENTY TEARS AFTEE. 

am glad to see that you pay attention to the usages of the world. 
You must take Grimaud 'and Olivain." 

" Both, sir?" asked Raoul, astonished. 

"Both." 

Raoul went out, and when Athos heard his young, joyous 
voice calling to Grimaud and Olivain, he sighed. 

" It is very soon to leave me/' he thought, " but he follows 
the common lot. Nature has made us thus; she looks on be 
fore her. He certainly likes that child, but will he love me 
less because he loves others?" 

And Athos confessed to himself that he was unprepared 
for so prompt a departure; but Raoul was so happy that this 
consideration effaced everything else from the mind of his 
guardian. 

Everything was ready at ten o'clock for their journey, and 
as Athos was seeing Raoul mount, a groom rode up from the 
Duchess de Chevreuse. He was charged to tell the Count de 
la Fe"re that she had learned the return of her youthful pro- 
teg6, and also the manner he had conducted himself on the 
field, and she added that she should be very glad to offer him 
her congratulations. 

" Tell her grace," replied Athos, " that the viscount has 
just mounted his horse to proceed to the Hotel de Luynes." 

Then, with renewed instructions to Grimaud, Athos signi 
fied to Raoul that he could set out, and ended by reflecting 
that it was, perhaps, better that Raoul should be away from 
Paris at that moment. 



CHAPTER XL. 

AGAIN A QUEEN DEMANDING HELP. 

ATHOS had not failed to send early to Aramis, and had 
given his letter to Blaisois, the only serving-man whom he 
had left. Blaisois found Bazin donning his bedell's gown, 
his services being required that day at N6tre Dame. 

Athos had desired Blaisois to try to speak to Aramis him 
self. Blaisois, a tall, simple youth, who understood nothing 
but what he was desired, asked, therefore, for the Abb6 d'Her- 
blay, and in spite of Bazin's assurances that his master was 
not at home, he persisted in such a manner as to put Bazin 
into a passion. Blaisois seeing Bazin in clerical guise, was 
little discomposed at his denials, and wanted to pass at all 



228 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

risks, believing, too, that he with whom lie had to do was en 
dowed with the virtues of his cloth namely, patience and 
Christian charity. 

But Bazin, still the servant of a musketeer, when once the 
blood mounted to his fat cheeks, seized a broomstick and 
began thumping Blaisois, saying: 

" You insulted the church; my friend, you have insulted 
the church!" 

At this moment Aramis, aroused by this unusual disturb 
ance, cautiously opened the door of his room; and Blaisois, 
looking reproachfully at the Cerberus, drew the letter from 
his pocket, and presented it to Aramis. 

" From the Count de la Fere," said Aramis. " All right." 
And he retired into his room without even asking the cause 
of so much noise. 

Blaisois returned disconsolate to the hotel of the Grand 
Roi Charlemagne, and when Athos inquired if his commis 
sion was executed, he related his adventure. 

" You foolish fellow?" said Athos, laughing. "And you 
did not tell him that you came from me?" 

"No, sir." 

At ten o'clock, Athos, with his habitual exactitude, was 
waiting on the Pont du Louvre, and was almost immediately 
joined by Lord de Winter. 

They waited ten minutes, and then his lordship began to 
fear that Aramis was not coming to join them. 

"Patience," said Athos, whose eyes were fixed in the di 
rection of the Rue du Bac, " patience; I see an abbe giving 
a cuff to a man, and a bow to a woman that must be 
Aramis." 

It was he, in truth; having run against a young shop 
keeper who was gaping at the crows, and who had splashed 
him, Aramis with one blow of his fist had distanced him ten 
paces. 

At this moment one of hie penitents passed, and as she 
was young and pretty, Aramis took off his cap to her, with 
his most gracious smile. 

A most affectionate greeting, as one can well believe, took 
place between him and Lord de Winter. 

" Where are we going?" inquired Aramis; "are we going 
to fight there, 'faith? I carry no sword this morning, and 
cannot return home to procure one." 

" No," said Lord de Winter, " we are going to pay a visit 
to her majesty the queen of England." 

" Oh, very well," replied Aramis; then, bending his face 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 229 

down to Athos' ear, " what is the object of this visit?" con 
tinued he. 

" I'faith, I know not; some evidence required from us, 
perhaps. " 

" May it not be about that cursed affair?" asked Aramis, 
"in which case I do not greatly care to go, for it will be to 
pocket some reproofs; and since I am used to give it to so 
many, I do not like to receive it myself.-" 

" If it were so," answered Athos, " we should not be taken 
there by Lord de Winter, for he would corne in for his share; 
he was one of us." 

" Truly yes, let us go." 

On arriving at the Louvre, Lord de Winter entered first; 
indeed, there was but one porter to receive them at the gate. 

It was impossible, in daylight, for the impoverished state 
of the habitation, which avaricious charity had conceded to 
an unfortunate queen, to^pass unnoticed by Athos, Aramis, 
and even the Englishman. Large rooms, completely denuded 
of furniture, bare walls, upon which, here and there, shone 
the old gold moldings which had resisted time and neglect, 
windows with broken panes (which it was impossible to close 
fast), no carpets, nor guards, nor servants; this is what at 
first met the eyes of Athos, to which he, touching his com 
panion's elbow, directed his attention by his glances. 

" Mazarin is better lodged," said Aramis. 

" Mazarin is almost king," answered Athos; " and Madame 
Henrietta is almost no longer queen." 

" If you would condescend to be clever, Athos," observed 
Aramis, " I really do think you would be more so than poor 
Monsieur de Voiture." 

Athos smiled. 

The queen appeared to be impatiently expecting them, for 
at the first slight noise which she heard in the hall leading to 
her room, she came herself to the door to receive the cour 
tiers of the days of misfortune. 

" Enter and be welcome, gentlemen," she said. 

The gentlemen entered and remained standing, but at a 
motion from the queen they seated themselves. Athos was 
calm and grave, but Aramis was furious; the sight of such 
royal misery exasperated him, and his eyes examined every 
new trace of poverty which presented itself. 

" You are examining the luxury I enjoy?" said the queen, 
glancing sadly around her. 

" Madame," replied Aramis, " I must ask your pardon, but 
I know not how to hide my indignation at seeing how a daugh 
ter of Henry IV. i& treated at the court of France." 



230 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

" Monsieur Aramis is uot an officer?" asked the queen of 
Lord de Winter. 

" That gentleman is the Abb6 d'Herblay," replied he. 

Aramis blushed. " Madame," he said, "I am an abbe, it 
is true, but I am so against my will; I never had a vocation 
for the bands; my cassock is fastened by one button only, and 
I am always ready to become a musketeer again. This morn 
ing, being ignorant that I should have the honor of seeing 
your majesty, I encumbered myself with this dress, but you 
will find me no less a man devoted to your majesty's service, 
in whatever you see fit to command me." 

" The Abb6 d'Herblay," resumed De Winter, " is one of 
those gallant musketeers belonging to his majesty, King 
Louis XIII., of whom I have spoken to you, madame." Then, 
turning toward Athos, he continued: " And this gentleman 
is that noble Count de la F6re, whose high reputation is so 
well known to your majesty." 

" Gentlemen," said the queen, "a few years ago I had 
around me gentlemen, treasures, and armies; and by the lift 
ing of a finger all these were occupied in my service. To 
day, look around you, and it may astonish you, that in order 
to accomplish a plan which is dearer to me than life, I have 
only Lord de Winter, the friend of twenty years, and you 
gentlemen, whom I see for the first time, and whom I know 
but as my countrymen." 

"It is enough," said Athos, bowing low, "if the life of 
three men can purchase yours, madatne." 

"I thank you, gentlemen. But hear me, "continued she. 
"I am not only the most miserable of queens, but the most 
unhappy of mothers, the most despairing of wives. My chil 
dren two of them at least the Duke of York and the Prin 
cess Elizabeth, are far away from me, exposed to the blows 
of the ambitious and our foes; my husband, the king, is lead 
ing in England so wretched an existence that it is no exag 
geration to say that he seeks death, as a thing to be desired. 
Hold! gentlemen, there is the letter conveyed to me by Lord 
de Winter. Read it." 

Obeying the queen, Athos read aloud the letter, which we 
have already seen, in which King Charles demanded whether 
the hospitality of France would be accorded to him. 

"Well?" asked Athos, when he had closed the letter. 

" Well, "said the queen, " it has been refused." 

The two friends exchanged a smile of contempt. 

" And now," said Athos, " what is to be done? I have the 
honor to inquire from your majesty what you desire Mon- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 231 

sieur d'Herblay and myself to do in your service. We are 
ready." 

" Ah, sir! you have a noble heart/' exclaimed the queen, 
with a burst of gratitude; while Lord de Winter turned to 
her with a glance which said: "Did I not answer for them to 
you?" 

" But you, sir?" said the queen to Aramis. 
" I, madame/ J replied he," follow Monsieur de laFdre where- 
ever he leads, even were it to death, without demanding 
wherefore; but when it concerns your majesty's service, then," 
added he, looking at the queen with all the grace of his for 
mer days, " I precede the count/' 

" Well, then, gentlemen/' said the queen, " since it is thus, 
and since you are willing to devote yourselves to the service 
of a poor princess whom the whole world has abandoned, this 
is what is required to be done for me. The king is alone with 
a few gentlemen, whom he fears to lose every day; surrounded 
by the Scotch, whom he distrusts, although he be himself a 
Scotchman. Since Lord de Winter left him I am distracted, 
sirs. I ask much, too much perhaps, for I have no title to 
ask it. Go to England, join the king, be his friends, his pro 
tectors, march to battle at his side, and be near him in the 
interior of his house, where conspiracies, more dangerous 
than the perils of war, increase every day. And in exchange 
of the sacrifice that you make, gentlemen, I promise not to 
reward you, I believe that word would offend you but to love 
you as a sister, to prefer you next to my husband and my chil 
dren, to every one. I swear it before heaven." 

And the queen raised her eyes solemnly upward. 

" Madame," said Athos, " when must we set out?" 

" You consent, then?" exclaimed the queen joyfully. 

"Yes, madame, only it seems to me that your majesty goes 
too far in engaging to load us with a friendship so far above 
our merit. We do service to God, madame, in serving a prince 
BO unfortunate, and a queen so virtuous. Madame, we are 
yours, body and soul." 

"Oh, sirs," said the queen, moved to tears, " this is the 
first time for five years that I have felt anything like joy and 
hope. God who can read my heart, all the gratitude I feel 
will reward you! Save my husband! Save the king, and 
although you care not for the price which is placed upon a 
good action in this world, leave me the hope that we shall 
meet again, when I may be able to thank you myself. In the 
meantime I remain here. Have you any counsel to give me? 
From this moment I become your friend, and since you are 
engaged in my affairs, I ought to occupy myself in yours." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Madame," replied Athos, " I have only to ask your 
majesty's prayers." 

" And I, "said Aramis, " I am alone in the world, and have 
only your majesty to serve." 

The queen held out her hand, which they kissed, and 
having two letters prepared for the king one from herself, 
and one written by the Princess Henrietta she gave one to 
Athos and the other to Aramis, lest, should they be separated 
by chance, they might make themselves known to the king; 
after which they withdrew. 

At the foot of the staircase De Winter stopped. 

"Not to arouse suspicions, gentlemen," said he "go your 
way, and I will go mine, and this evening at nine o'clock we 
will assemble again at the gate St. Denis. We will travel on 
horseback as far as our horses can go, and afterward we can 
take the post. Once more, lot me thank you, my good friends, 
thank you in my own name, and in the queen's. 

The three gentlemen then shook hands, Lord de Winter 
taking the Hue St. Honore, and Athos and Aramis remaining 
together. 

" Well/' said Aramis, when they were alone, " what do you 
think of this business, my dear count?" 

" Bad," replied Athos, " very bad." 

" But you received it with enthusiasm." 

" As I shall ever receive the defense of a great principle, 
my dear D'Herblay. Monarchs are only strong by the aid 
of the aristocracy, but aristrocracy cannot exist without 
monarchs. Let us, then, support monarchy in order to 
support ourselves." 

" We shall be murdered there," said Aramis. " I hate the 
English they are coarse, like all people who drink beer." 

"Would it be better to remain here?" said Athos, "and 
take a turn in the Bastille, or in the dungeon of Vincennes, 
for having favored the escape of Monsieur de Beaufort? Oh! 
i'faith, Aramis, believe me there is little left to regret. We 
avoid imprisonment, and we take the part of heroes the 
choice is easy." 

" It is true; but in everything, friend, one must always 
return to the same question a stupid one I admit but very 
necessary; have yon any money?" 

" Something like a hundred pistoles, that my farmer sent 
to me the day before I left Bragelonne; but out of that sum, 
I ought to leave fifty for Raoul a young man must live 
respectably. I have then about fifty pistoles. And you?" 

"As for me, I am quite sure that after turning out all my 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 233 

pockets and emptying my drawers, I shall not find ten louis 
at home. Fortunately, Lord de Winter is rich." 

" Lord de Winter is ruined for the moment, for Cromwell 
claims all his resources." 

" Now is the time when Baron Porthos would be useful!" 

" Now it is that I regret D'Artagnan." 

" Let us entice them away." 

" This secret, Aramis, does not belong to us; take my ad 
vice, then, and put no one into our confidence. And, more 
over, in taking such a step, we should appear to be doubtful 
of ourselves. Let us regret to ourselves for our own sakes, but 
not speak of it." 

" You are right; but what are you going to do till this 
evening; I have two things to postpone." 

" And what are they?" 

" First, a thrust with the coadjutor, whom I met last night 
at Madame de Rambouillet's, and whom I found particular in 
his remarks respecting me." 

" Oli, fie a quarrel between priests, a duel between 
allies!" 

"What can I do, friend; he is a bully, and so am I; his 
cassock is a burden to him, and I think I have had enough of 
mine; in fact, there is so much resemblance between us, that 
I sometimes believe he is Aramis, and I am the coadjutor. 
This kind of life fatigues and oppresses me; besides, he is a 
turbulent fellow who will ruin our party. I am convinced 
that if I gave him a box on the ear, such as I gave this morn 
ing to the little citizen who splashed me, it would change the 
appearance of things." 

" And I, my dear Aramis," quietly replied Athos, " I think 
it would only change Monsieur de Retz's appearance. Take 
my advico, leave things as they are; besides, you are neither 
of you now your own masters; he belongs to the Fronde, 
and you to the Queen of England. But now we must 
part. I have one or two visits to make, and a letter to write. 
Call for me at eight o'clock, or shall I wait supper for you at 
seven ?" 

" That will do very well," said Aramis. " I have twenty 
visits to make, and as many letters to write." 

They then separated. Athos went to pay a visit to Madame 
de Vendome, left his name at Madame de Chevreuse's, and 
wrote the following letter to D'Artagnan: 

"DEAR FRIEND: I am about to set off with Aramis on im 
portant business. I wished to make my adieux to you, but 



234 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

time did not allow me. Remember that I write to you now 
to repeat how much affection I have for you. 

" Raoul is gone to Blois, and is ignorant of my departure; 
watch over him in my absence as much as you possibly can, 
and if by chance you receive no news of me three mouths 
hence, tell hirn to open a packet which he will find addressed 
to him in my bronze casket at Blois, and of which I send you 
the key. 

" Embrace Porthos from Aramis and myself. Adieu, per 
haps farewell." 

At the hour agreed upon Aramis arrived; he was dressed 
as an officer, and had the old sword at his side which he 
had drawn so often, and which he was more than ever ready 
to draw. 

" By the by," he said, " I think that we are decidedly 
wrong to depart thus, without leaving a line for Porthos and 
P'Artagnan." 

" The thing is done, dear friend," said Athos; "I foresaw 
that, and have embraced them both from you and myself." 

" You are a wonderful man, my dear count," said Aramis; 
"you think of everything." 

" Well, have you made up your mind to this journey?" 

" Quite; and now that I reflect about it, I am glad to leave 
Paris at this moment." 

" And so am I," replied Athos; " my only regret is not 
having seen D'Artagnan; but that rascal is so cunning, he 
might have guessed our project." 

When supper was over Blaisois entered. " Sir," said he, 
" here is Monsieur d'Artagnan's answer." 

" But I did not tell you there was an answer, stupid!" said 
Athos. 

" And I set off without waiting for one, but he called me 
back and gave me this;" and he presented a little bag made 
of leather, round and ringing. 

Athos opened it, and began by drawing from it a little note, 
written in these terms: 

" MY DEAR COUNT: When one travels and especially 
for three months one has never enough money. Now, re 
calling our former time of distress, I send you the half of my 
purse; it is money to obtain which I made Mazarin sweat. 
Don't make a bad use of it I entreat you 

" As to what you say about not seeing you again, I believe 
not a word of it; with your heart and your sword one might 
pass through everything. Au revoir, then, and not farewell. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" It is unnecessary to say that from the day I saw Raoul I 
loved him; nevertheless, believe that I heartily pray to God 
that I may not become his father, however much I might be 
proud of such a son. 

" JONIS D'ARTAGNAN. 

" P.S. Be it well understood that the fifty louis which 
I send are equally for Aramis as for you, and for you as for 
Aram is." 

Athos smiled, and his fine eye was dimmed by a tear. 
D'Artagnan, who had loved him so tenderly, loved him still, 
Mazarinist though he was. 

" There are the fifty louis, i'faith," said Aramis, emptying 
the purse on the table, " all bearing the effigy of Louis XIII. 
Well, what shall you do with this money, count; shall you 
keep it, or send it back?" 

" I shall keep it, Aramis; and even had I no need of it, I 
should still keep it. What is offered from a generous heart 
should be accepted generously. Take twenty-five of them, 
Aramis, and give me the remaining twenty-five." 

" All right; I am glad to see that you are of my opionion. 
Then now shall we start?" 

" When you like; but have you no groom?" 

" No! that idiot Bazin had the folly to make himself verger, 
as you know, and therefore cannot leave N6tre Dame." 

" Very well, take Blaisois, .with whom I know not what to 
do since I have had Grimaud." 

" Willingly," said Aramis. 

At this moment Grimaud appeared at the door. " Ready," 
said he, with his usual curtness. 

" Let us go then," said Athos. 

The two friends mounted, as did their servants. At the 
corner of the Quai they encountered Bazin, who was running 
breathlessly. 

" Oh, sir!" exclaimed he, " thank heaven I have arrived in 
time. Monsieur Porthos has just been to your house, and has 
left this for you, saying that the thing was important, and 
ought to be given to you before you left." 

" Good," said Aramis, taking a purse which Bazin presented 
to him. " What is this?" 

" Wait, your reverence, there is a letter." 

" You know that I have already told you that if you ever 
call me anything but chevalier 1 will break your bones. Give 
me the letter." 

" How can you read?" asked Athos; " it is as dark as in an 
oven." 



236 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Wait/' said Baziu, striking a light, and lighting a twisted 
wax-light, with which he lighted the church candles. By this 
light Aramis read the following epistle: 

" MY DEAR D'HERBLAY: I learn from D'Artagnan, who 
has embraced me on the part of the Count de la F6re and 
yourself, that you are setting out on a journey which may 
perhaps last two or three months. As 1 know that you do 
not like to ask money of your friend, I offer to you. Here 
are two hundred pistoles, of which you can dispose, and 
return to me when an opportunity occurs. Do not fear that 
you put me to inconvenience; if I want money, I can send 
for some from one of my chateaux; at Bracieux alone I have 
twenty thousand francs in gold. So, if I do not send you 
more, it is because I fear you would not accept a large sum. 

" I address you, because you know, that although I esteem 
him from my heart, I am a little awed by Count de la Fre; 
but it is understood, that what I offer to you I offer to him at 
the same time. 

" I am, as I trust you do not doubt, your devoted 
"DE VALQN DE BRACIEUX DE PIERREFONDS." 

"Well/' said Aramis, "what do you say to that?" 
" I say, my dear D'Herblay, that it is almost sacrilege to 
distrust Providence when one has such friends, and therefore 
we will divide the pistoles from Porthos, as we divided the 
km is sent by D'Artagnan." 

The divison being made by the light of Bazin's taper, the 
two friends continued their road, and a quarter of an hour 
later they had joined De Winter at the Porte St. Denis. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

IN WHICH IT IS PROVED THAT FIRST IMPULSES ARE ALWAYS 

BEST. 

THE three gentlemen took the road to Picardy a road so 
well known to them, and which recalled to Athos and Aramis 
some of the most picturesque adventures of their youth. 

" If Mousqueton were with us," observed Athos, on reach 
ing the spot where they had had a dispute with the paviers, 
" how he would tremble at passing this! Do you remember, 
Aramis, that it was here he received that famous ball?" 

"By my faith, I would allow him to tremble," replied 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 237 

Aramis; "for even I feel a shudder at the recollection; hold, 
just above that tree is the little spot where I thought I was 
killed." 

It was- soon time for Grimaud to recall the past. Arriving 
before the inn at which his master and himself had made 
such an enormous repast, he approached Athos, and said, 
showing him the air-hole of the cellar: 

" Sausages!" 

Athos began to laugh, and this youthful folly of his ap 
peared to be as amusing as if some one had related it of 
another person. 

At last, after traveling two days and one night, they 
arrived at Boulogne toward the evening, favored by magnifi 
cent weather. Boulogne was a strong position, and then 
almost a deserted town, built entirely on the heights, and 
what is now called the lower town did not then exist. 

" Gentlemen," said De Winter, on reaching the gate of the 
town, " let us do here as at Paris let us separate to avoid 
suspicion. I know an inn, little frequented, but of which the 
host is entirely devoted to me. I will go there, where I 
expect to find letters, and you go to the first tavern in the 
town, to L'Epee du Grand Henri for instance, refresh your 
selves, and in two hours be upon the jetty our boat is wai-t- 
ing there for us." 

The matter being thus decided, the two friends found, 
about two hundred paces further, the tavern indicated to 
them. The horses were fed, but not unsaddled; the grooms 
up for it was already late and their two masters, impatient 
to return, appointed a place of meeting with them on the 
jetty, and desired them on no account to exchange a word 
with any one. It is needless to say that this caution con 
cerned Blaisois alone it was long since it had become a use 
less one to Grimaud. 

Athos and Aramis walked down toward the port. From 
their dress, covered with dust, and from a certain easy 
manner by which a man accustomed to travel is always 
recognized, the two friends excited the attention of a few 
walkers. There was more especially one upon whom their 
arrival had produced a decided impression. This man, who 
they had observed from the first for the same reason as they 
had themselves been remarked by others, walked in a 
melancholy way up and down the jetty. From the moment 
he perceived them he did not cease to look at them, and 
seemed to burn with the wish to speak to them. 

On reaching the jetty, Athos and Aramis stopped to look 



238 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

at a little boat fastened to a stake, and ready rigged as if wait 
ing to start. 

" That is, doubtless, our boat," said Athos. 

" Yes," replied Aramis, "and the sloop sailing about there 
must be that which is to take us to our destination; now," 
continued he, "if only De Winter does not keep us waiting. 
It is not at all amusing here there is not a single woman 
passing." 

" Hush!" said Athos, "we are overheard." 

In truth, the walker who, during the observations of the 
two friends, had passed and repassed behind them several 
times, stopped at the name of De Winter; but as his face be 
trayed no emotion at the mention of this name, it might have 
been by chance that he had stopped. 

" Gentlemen," said the man, who was young and pale, bow 
ing with much ease and politeness, "pardon my curiosity, but 
I see you come from Paris, or at least that you are strangers aft 
Boulogne." 

" We come from Paris, yes," replied Athos, with the same 
courtesy; " what is there at your service?" 

" Sir," said the young man, " will you be so good as to tell 
me if it be true that Cardinal Mazarin is no longer minister?" 

" That is a strange question," said Aramis. 

"He is and he is not," replied Athos; " that is to say, he 
is dismissed by one half of France; and that, by means of in 
trigues and promises, he makes the other half retain him; you 
will perceive that this may last a long time." 

"However, sir," said the stranger, "he has neither fled, 
nor is in prison?" 

" No, sir, not at this moment at least." 

"Sirs, accept my thanks for your politeness," said the 
young man, retreating. 

"What do you think of that interrogator?" asked Aramis. 

" I think he is-either a provincial person who is dull, or a 
spy wishing for information." 

"And you replied to him with that notion?" 

" Nothing warranted me to answer him otherwise: he was 
polite to me, and I was so to him." 

" But if he be a spy " 

"What do you think a spy would be about here? We are 
not living in the time of Cardinal Richelieu, who would have 
closed the ports on a bare suspicion." 

" It matters not; you were wrong to reply to him as yoo 
did," continued Aramis, following with his eyes the young 
man disappearing behind the cliffs. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 239 

"And you/' said Athos, "you forget that you committed 
a very different kind of imprudence in pronouncing Lord de 
Winter's name. Did you not see that at that name the young 
man stopped?" 

" More reason, then, when he spoke to you for sending him 
about his business." 

"A quarrel?" asked Athos. 

" And since when have you become afraid of a quarrel." 

"I am always afraid of a quarrel when I am expected at 
any place, and that such a quarrel might possibly prevent my 
reaching it. Besides, let me own something to you. I am 
anxious to see that young man nearer." 

"And wherefore?" 

" Aramis, you will certainly laugh at me you will say that 
I am always repeating the same thing you will call me the 
most timorous of visionaries; but to whom do you see a resem 
blance in that young man?" 

''In beauty, or on the contrary?" asked Aramis, laughing. 

" In ugliness, and as far as a man can resemble a woman?" 

"Ah, egad!" cried Aramis, "you have made me think. 
No, in truth, you are no visionary, my dear friend, and now 
that I think of it you yes, i'faith, quite right that delicate 
and compressed mouth, those eyes which seem always at the 
command of the intellect, and never of the heart! Yes, it is 
one of milady's bastards!" 

" You laugh, Aramis." 

"From habit, that is all; for I swear to you, I should like 
no better than yourself to meet that viper in my path." 

"Ah! here is De Winter coming," said Athos. 

""Good, one thing now is only wanting, and that is that our 
grooms should keep us waiting." 

" No," said Athos, " I see them about twenty paces behind 
my lord. I recognize Grimaud by his long legs and stiff gait. 
Tony carries our muskets." 

" Then we shall embark to-night?" asked Aramis, glancing 
toward the west, where the sun had left but one golden cloud, 
which, dipping into the ocean, appeared by degrees to be ex 
tinguished. 

" Probably so," said Athos. 

"Diable!" resumed Aramis; "I have little fancy for the 
sea by day, but still less at night; the sounds of the winds 
and waves, the frightful motion of the vessel I confess that 
I prefer to be in the convent of Noisy." 

Atlios smiled sadly, for it was evident that he was thinking 
of other things as he listened to his friend, and he moved to 
ward De Winter. 



240 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" What ails our friend?" said Aramis; "he resembles one 
of Dante's damned people, whose neck Satan has dislocated, 
and who always look at their heels. What the devil makes 
him look thus behind him?" 

When De Winter perceived them, in his turn he advanced 
toward them with surprising rapidity. 

" What is the matter, my lord?" said Athos; "and what 
puts you out of breath thus?" 

" Nothing/' replied De Winter, " nothing; and yet in 
passing the heights it seemed to me " and he again turned 
round. 

Athos glanced at Aramis. 

"But let us go," continued De Winter; " let us be off; the 
boat must be waiting for us, and there is our sloop at 
anchor do you see it there? I wish I were on board already " 
and he looked back again. 

" He has seen him." said Athos, in a low tone to Aramis. 

They had now reached the ladder which led to the boat. 
De Winter made the grooms who carried the arms, and the 
porters with the luggage, descend the first, and was about to 
follow them. 

At this moment, Athos perceived a man walking on the 
seashore parallel to the jetty, and hastening his steps as if to 
reach the other side of the port, scarcely twenty steps from 
the place of embarking. He fancied in the darkness that he 
recognized the young man who had questioned him. Athos 
now descended the ladder in his turn, without losing sight of 
the young man. The latter, to make a short cut, had ap 
peared on a sluice. 

" He certainly bodes us no good," said Athos; " but let us 
embark once out at sea, let him come." 

And Athos sprang into the boat, which was immediately 
pushed off, and which soon distanced the shore under the 
efforts of four strong rowers. 

But the young man had begun to follow or rather to ad 
vance before the boat. She was obliged to advance between 
the point of the jetty, surmounted by a beacon, just lighted, 
and a rock which jutted out. They saw him in the distance 
climbing the rock, in order to look down upon the boat as 
she passed. 

" Ay, but," said Aramis, "that young man is decidedly a 
apy." 

"Which is the young man?" asked De Winter, turning 
round. 

" He who followed us, and spoke to us, and awaits us thero 
seel" 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 241 

De Winter turned, and followed the direction of Aram is' 
finger. The beacon bathed its light upon the little strait 
through which they were about to pass, and the rock where 
the young man stood with bare head and crossed arms. 

" It is he!" exclaimed De Winter, seizing the arm of 
Athos; " it is he! I thought I recognized him, and I was 
not mistaken. " 

" Who him?" asked Aramis. 

" Milady's eon/' replied Athos. 

" The monk!" exclaimed Grimaud. 

The young man neard the words, and bent so forward over 
the rock that one might have supposed he was about to pre 
cipitate himself from it. 

" Yes, it is I, my uncle. I, the son of milady I, the monk 
I, the secretary and friend of Cromwell and I know you, 
both you and your companions." 

There were in that boat three men, unquestionably brave, 
and whose courage no man would have dared to dispute; 
nevertheless, at that voice, that accent, and those gestures, 
they felt a shudder of terror run through their veins. As for 
Grimaud, his hair stood on end, and drops of sweat ran from 
his brow. 

" Ah!" exclaimed Aramis, " that is the nephew, the monk 
and the son of milady, as he says himself." 

" Alas! yes," murmured De Winter. 

" Then, wait," said Aramis; and with the terrible coolness 
which on important occasions he showed, he took one of the 
muskets from Tony, shouldered and aimed it at the 
young man, who stood, like the accusing angel, upon the 
rock. 

" Fire!" said Grimaud, unconsciously. 

Athos threw himself on the mouth of the gun, and arrested 
the shot which was about to be fired. 

" The devil take you," said Aramis, " I had him so well 
at the point of my gun, I should have sent a ball into iiis 
breast." 

" It is enough to have killed the mother," said Athos 
hoarsely. 

" The mother was a wretch, who struck at us all, and at 
those dear to us." 

" Yes, but the son has done us no harm." 

Grimaud, who had risen to watch the effect of the shot fell 
back hopeless, wringing his hands. 

The young man burst into a laugh. 

" Ah, it is certainly you," he cried, " and I know you now." 
H DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



242 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

His mocking laugh and threatening words passed over their 
heads, carried on by the breeze, until lost in the depths of 
the horizon. Aramis shuddered. 

"Becalm!" exclaimed Athos, "for heaven's sake have 
we ceased to be men?" 

"No," said Aramis, "but that being is a fiend; and ask 
the uncle whether I was wrong to rid him of his nephew." 

De Winter only replied by a groan. 

"It was all up with him/' continued Aramis; "ah, I much 
fear that, with your wisdom, you have made me commit a 
great folly." 

Athos took Lord de Winter's hand, and tried to turn the 
conversation. 

" When shall we laud in England?" he asked; but De Win 
ter seemed not to hear his words, and made no reply. 

"Hold, Athos," said Aramis, "perhaps there is still time. 
See if he is still in the same place." 

Athos turned round with an effort; the sight of the young 
man was evidently painful to him, and there he still was, in 
fact, on the rock, the beacon shedding around him, as it were, 
a glory of light. 

" Decidedly, Aramis," said Athos; " I think I was wrong 
not to let you fire." 

" Hold your tongue," replied Aramis; " you will make me 
weep if it were possible." 

At this moment they were hailed by a voice from the sloop, 
and a few seconds later, men, servants, and baggage were on 
deck. The captain had been only waiting his passengers, and 
hardly had they put foot on board ere her head was turned 
toward Hastings, where they were to disembark. At this in 
stant the three friends turned, in spite of themselves, a last 
look on the rock, upon the menacing figure which pursued 
them and stood out boldly. Then a voice reached them once 
more, sending out this threat: " To our next meeting, sirs, 
in England." 



CHAPTER XLII. 

THE TE DEUM FOR THE VICTORY OF LENS. 

THE bustle which had been observed by Henrietta Maria, 
and for which she had vainly sought to discover a reason, 
was occasioned by the battle of Lens, announced by the 
prince's messenger, the Due de Chatillon, who had taken such 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 243 

a noble part in the engagement; he was, besides, charged 
to hang twenty-five flags taken from the Lorraine party, as 
well as from the Spaniards, upon the arches of N6tre Dame. 

This news was decisive; it destroyed, in favor of the court, 
the struggle commenced with the parliament. The motive 
given for all the taxes summarily imposed, and to which the 
parliament had made opposition, was the necessity of sustain 
ing the honor of France, and upon the uncertain hope of 
beating the enemy. Now, since the affair of Nordlingen, 
they had but experienced reverses; the parliament had a plea 
for calling Mazarin to account for all the victories always 
promised and always deferred; but this time there had really 
been fighting, there had been a triumph and a complete one. 
And this all knew so well, that it was a double victory for the 
court a victory interior and exterior, so that even when the 
young king learned the news, he exclaimed: "Ah, gentle 
men of the parliament, we shall see what you will say now." 
Upon which the queen had pressed to her heart the royal 
child, whose haughty and unruly sentiments were in such har 
mony with her own. A council was called the same evening, 
but nothing transpired of what was decided. It was only 
known that on the following Sunday a " Te Deum " would be 
sung at Notre Dame in honor of the victory of Lens. 

The following Sunday, then, the Parisians arose with joy; 
at that period a " Te Deum" was a grand affair; this kind of 
ceremony had not then been made an abuse of, and it pro 
duced a great effect. The shops were deserted, the houses 
closed; everyone wished to see the young king with his mother, 
and the famous Cardinal Mazarin, whom they hated so 
much, that no one wished to be deprived of his presence. 
Moreover, great liberty prevailed among this immense crowd; 
every opinion was openly expressed, and rung out, so to speak, 
insurrection, as the thousand bells of all the Paris churches 
rang out the " Te Deum." The police belonging to the city 
being formed by the city itself, nothing threatening pre 
sented itself to disturb the concert of universal hatred, or to 
freeze words between slandering lips. 

Nevertheless, at eight o'clock in the morning, the regiment 
of the queen's guards, commanded by Guitant, under whom 
was his nephew, Comminges, marched, preceded by drums 
and trumpets, to file off from the Palais Eoyal as far as N6- 
tre Dame, a maneuver which the Parisians witnessed tran 
quilly, delighted as they were with military music and brilliant 
uniforms. 

Friquet had put on his Sunday clothes, under the pretext 



244 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

of having a cold, which he had managed to procure momen 
tarily, by introducing an infinite number of cherry nuts into 
one side of his mouth, and had procured a whole holiday from 
Bazin. On leaving Bazin, Friquet started off to the Palais 
Royal, where he arrived at the moment of the turning out of the 
regiment of guards, and as he had only gone there for the en 
joyment of seeing it and hearing the music, he took his place 
at their head, beating the drum on two pieces of slate, and 
passing from that exercise to that of the trumpet, which he 
counterfeited naturally with his mouth in a manner which 
had more than once called forth the praises of amateurs 
of imitative harmony. 

This amusement lasted from the Barriere des Sergens to 
the place of Ndtre Dame; and Friquet found in it true enjoy 
ment; but when at last the regiment separated, penetrated to 
the heart of the city, and placed itself at the extremity of the 
Rue St. Christophe, near the Rue Cocatrix, in which Broussel 
lived, then Friquet remembered that he had not had breakfast; 
and after thinking to which side he had best turn his steps in 
order to accomplish this important act of the day, he reflected 
deeply, and decided that it should be Counsellor Broussel who 
should bear the cost of his repast. 

In consequence he took a start, arrived breathlessly at the 
counsellor's door, and knocked violently. 

His mother, the counsellor's old servant, opened it. 

"What dost thou here, good-for-nothing? she said, "and 
why art thou not at Notre Dame?" 

" I have been there, mother," said Friquet, " but I saw 
things happen of which Master Broussel ought to be warned, 
and so with Monsieur Bazin's permission you know, mother, 
Monsieur Bazin, the verger? I came to speak to Monsieur 
Broussel." 

" And what hast thou to say, boy, to Monsieur Broussel." 

"I wish to tell him," replied Friquet, screaming with all 
his might, " that there is a whole regiment of guards coming 
this way. And, as I hear everywhere that at the court they are 
ill-disposed to him, I wish to warn him, that he may be on 
his guard." 

Broussel heard the scream of the young oddity; and, en 
chanted with this excess of zeal, came down to the first floor, 
for he was, in truth, working in his room on the second. 

"Well!" said he, "friend what matters the regiment of 
guards to us, and art thou not mad to make such a disturb 
ance? Knowest thou not that it is the custom of these 
soldiers to act thus, and that it is usual for the regiment to 
form themselves into a hedge where the king passes?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 245 

Friquet counterfeited surprise and turning his new cup 
round his fingers, said' 

" It is not astonishing for you to knojv it, Monsieur Brous- 
eol, who know everything but me, by the holy truth, I do 
not know it, and I thought I would give you good advice 
you must not be angry with me for that, Monsieur Broussel." 

"On the contrary, my boy; on the contrary, I am pleased 
with your zeal. Dame Nanette, see for those apricots which 
Mada.me de Longueville sent to us yesterday from Noisy, 
and give half-a-dozen of them to your son, with a crust of 
new bread." 

" Oh, thank you, sir, thank you, Monsieur Broussel," said 
Friquet: " I am so fond of apricots!" 

Broussel then proceeded to his wife's room, and asked for 
breakfast; it was nine o'clock. The counsellor placed him 
self at the window; the street was completely deserted; but 
in the distance was heard, like the noise of the tide rushing 
in, the deep hum of the populous waves which increased around 
Notre Dame. 

This noise redoubled, when D'Artagnan, with a company 
of musketeers, placed himself at the gates of Notre Dame to 
secure the service of the church. He had told Porthos to 
profit by this opportunity to see the ceremony; and Porthos, 
in full dress, mounted his finest horse, doing the part of an 
honorary musketeer, as D'Artagnan had so often done for 
merly. The sergeant of this company, an old veteran of the 
Spanish wars, had recognized Porthos, his old companion, 
and very soon all those who served under him had been placed 
in possession of startling facts concerning the honor of the 
ancient musketeers of Treville. Porthos had not only been 
well received by the company, but he was, moreover, looked 
upon with great admiration. 

At ten o'clock the guns of the Louvre announced the de 
parture of the king, and then a movement, similar to that of 
trees in a stormy wind bending and agitating their tops, ran 
through the multitude, which was compressed behind the im 
movable muskets of the guards. At last the king appeared 
with the queen in a gilded chariot. Ten other carriages fol 
lowed, containing the ladies of honor, the officers of the royal 
household, and all the court. 

"God save the king!" was the cry in every direction; the 
young monarch gravely put his head out of the window, 
looked sufficiently grateful, and even bowed slightly: at which 
the cries of the multitude were renewed. 

Just as the court was being placed in the cathedral, a car- 



246 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

riage, bearing the arms of Cornminges, quitted the line of 
court carriages, and proceeded slowly to the end of the Rue 
ISt. Christophe, now entirely deserted. When it arrived 
there, four guards and a police officer, who accompanied it, 
mounted into the heavy machine, and closed the shutters; 
then, with a judicious admittance of the light,. the policeman 
began to watch the length of the Rue Cocatrix, as if he was 
waiting for some one. 

All the world was occupied with the ceremony, so that 
neither the chariot, nor the precautions taken by those who 
were within it, had been observed. Friquet, whose eye, 
always on the alert, could alone have discovered them, had 
gone to devour his apricots upon the-entablature of a house 
in the square of Ndtre Dame. Thence, he saw the king, the 
queen, and Monsieur Mazarin, and heard the mass, as well as 
if he had been on service. 

Toward the end of the service, the queen, seeing Com- 
minges standing near her, waiting for a confirmation of the 
order she had given him before quitting the Louvre, said, in 
a whisper: 

" Go, Comminges, and may God aid you!" 

Comminges immediately left the church, and entered the 
Rue St. Christophe. Friquet, seeing this fine officer thus 
walk away, followed by two guards, amused himself by pur 
suing them, and did thus so much the more gladly, since the 
ceremony ended at that instant, and the king remounted his 
carriage. 

Hardly had the police-officer observed Comminges at the 
end of the Rue Cocatrix, than he said one word to the 
coachman, who at once put his vehicle into motion, and 
drove up before Broussel's door. Comminges knocked at the 
door at the same moment, and Friquet was waiting behind 
Comminges until the door should be opened. 

" What dost thou there, rascal?" asked Comminges. 

" I want to go into Master BrousseFs house, captain," re 
plied Friquet, in that coaxing tone which the "gamins" of 
Paris know so well how to assume when necessary. 

"And on what floor does he live?" asked Comminges. 

"In the whole house," said Friquet; " the house belongs to 
him; he occupies the second floor when he works, and de 
scends to the first to take his meals; he must be at dinner 
now it is noon." 

"Good," said Comminges. 

At this moment the door was opened, and having ques 
tioned the servant, the officer learned that Master Broussel 
was at home, and at dinnf" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 24? 

Broussel was seated at the table with his family, having his 
wife opposite to him, his two daughters by his side, and his 
son, Louvieres, whom we have already seen when the acci 
dent happened to the counsellor an accident from which 
he had quite recovered at the bottom of the table. The 
worthy man, restored to perfect health, was tasting the fine 
fruit which Madame de Longneville had sent to him. 

At the sight of the officer, Broussel was somewhat moved; 
but seeing him bow politely, he rose and bowed also. Still, 
in spite of this reciprocal politeness, the countenances of the 
women betrayed some uneasiness; Louveires became very 
pale, and waited impatiently for the officer to explain 
himself. 

" Sir," said Comminges, " I am the bearer of an order 
from the king." 

"Very well, sir/' replied Broussel; " what is this order?" 
And he held out his hand. 

"I am commissioned to seize your person, sir," said Com 
minges, in the same tone, and with the same politeness; 
" and if you will believe me, you had better spare yourself 
the trouble of reading that long letter, and follow me." 

A thunderbolt falling in the midst of these good people, 
so peacefully assembled there, would not have produced a 
more appalling effect. It was a terrible thing at that period 
to be imprisoned by the enmity of the king. Louvieres 
sprang forward to take his sword, which was on a chair in 
a corner of the room; but a glance from the worthy 
Broussel, who in the midst of it all did not lose hie presence 
of mind, checked this action of despair. Madame Broussel, 
separated by the width of the table from her husband, burst 
into tears, and the young girls clung to their father's arms. 

" Come, sir," said Comminges, " make haste, you must 
obey the king." 

" Sir," said Broussel, " I am in bad health, and cannot 
give myself up a prisoner in this state; I ask time." 

"It is impossible," said Comminges; "the order is strict, 
and must be put into execution this instant." 

"Impossible!" said Louvdres; "sir, beware of driving us 
to despair." 

" Impossible!" cried a shrill voice from the bottom of the 
room. 

Comminges turned and saw Dame Nanette, her eyes flash 
ing with anger, and a broom in her hand. 

"My good Nanette, be quiet, I beseech you," said 
Broussel. 



248 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Me! keep quiet while my master is arrested; he, the sup 
port the liberator the father of the poor people! Ah! well, 
yes you have to know me yet. Are you going?" added she 
to Comminges. 

The latter smiled. 

" Come, sir," said he, addressing Broussel, " silence that 
woman, and follow me." 

" Silence me! me! me!" said Nanette. "Ah! yet one 
wants some beside you for that, my fine -king's- bird. You 
shall see." And Dame Nanette sprang to the window, threw 
it open, and in such a piercing voice that it might have been 
heard in the square of Notre Dame: 

" Help!" she screamed, " my master is being arrested! the 
Counsellor Broussel is arrested help!" 

" Sir," said Comminges, "declare yourself at once; will 
you obey, or do you intend to rebel against the king?" 

" I obey I obey, sir," cried Broussel, trying to disengage 
himself from the grasp of his two daughters, and to restrain, 
by his look, his son, always ready to escape from it. 

"In that case," said Comminges, "silence that old 
woman " 

"Ah! old woman!" screamed Nanette. 

And she began to shriek loudly, clinging to the bars of the 
window. 

" Help! help! for Master Broussel, who is arrested because 
he has defended the people help!" 

Comminges seized the servant round the waist, and would 
have dragged her from her post; but at that instant a 
treble voice, proceeding from a kind of "entresol," was heard 
screeching: 

"Murder! fire! assassins! Master Broussel is being killed 
Master Broussel is being strangled." 

It was Friquet's voice; and Dame Nanette, feeling herself 
supported, recommenced with all her strength to make a 
chorus. 

Many curious faces had already appeared at the windows, 
and the people, attracted to the end of the street, began to 
run first, men, then groups, and then a crowd of people; 
hearing cries, and seeing a chariot, they could not understand 
it; but Friquet sprang from the entresol on to the top of the 
carriage. 

"They want to arrest Master Broussel," he cried; " the 
guards are in the carriage, and the officer is upstairs!" 

The crowd began to murmur, and approached the houses. 
The two guards who had remained in the lane mounted to the 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 249 

aid of Comminges; those who were in the chariot opened the 
doors and presented arms. 

" Don't you see them?" cried Friquet, " don't you see? 
there they are!" 

The coachman turned round, and gave Friquet a cut with 
his whip, which made him scream with pain. 

" Ah! devil's coachman!" cried Friquet, " you're meddling 
.too; wait!" 

And regaining his " entresol," he overwhelmed the coach 
man with every projectile he could lay hands on. 

The tumult now began to increase; the street was not able 
to contain the spectators, who assembled from every direction; 
the crowd invaded the space which the dreaded pikes of the 
guards kept clear, between them and the carriage. The 
soldiers, pushed back by these living walls, were about to be 
crushed against the nuts of the wheels and the panels of the 
carriage. The cries which the police-officer repeated twenty 
times, of "In the king's name," were powerless against the 
formidable multitude, and seemed on the contrary to ex 
asperate it still more; when, at the cries, " In the name of 
the king," an officer ran up, and seeing the uniforms much 
ill-treated, he sprang into the scuffle, sword in hand, and 
brought unexpected help to the guards. This gentleman was 
a young man, scarcely sixteen years of age, perfectly pale 
with anger. He sprang on foot, as the other guards, placed 
his back against the shaft of the carriage, making a rampart 
of his horse, drew his pistols from their holsters, and fastened 
them to his belt, and began to fight with the back sword, like 
a man accustomed to the handling of his weapon. 

During ten minutes he alone kept the crowd at bay; at last 
Commiuges appeared, pushing Broussel before him. 

" Let us break the carriage!" cried the people. 

"In the king's name!" cried Comminges. 

" The first who advances is a dead man!" cried Ilaoul, for 
it was in fact he, who, feeling himself pressed and almost 
crushed by a kind of giant, pricked him with the point of his 
sword, and sent him groaning back. 

Comminges, so to speak, threw Broussel into the carriage, 
and sprang in after him. At this moment a shot was fired, 
and a ball passed through the hat of Comminges, and broke 
the arm of one of the guards. Comminges looked up, and 
saw among the smoke the threatening face of Louvidres, ap 
pearing at the window of the second floor. 

" Very well, sir," said Comminges, "you shall hear of me 
again." 



250 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" And you of me, too, sir," said Louvieres; "and we shall 
see who can speak the loudest." 

Friquet and Nanette continued to shout; the cries, the noise 
of the shot, and the intoxicating smell of powder, produced 
their effect. 

" Down with the officer! down with him!" was the cry. 

"One step nearer," said Comminges, putting down the 
sashes that the interior of the carriage might be well seen, and 
placing his sword on his prisoner's breast, " one step nearer, 
and I kill the prisoner; my orders were to bring him off alive 
or dead. I will take him dead, that's all." 

A terrible cry was heard, and the wife and daughters of 
Broussel held up their hands in supplication to the people; 
the latter knew that this officer, who was so pale, but who 
appeared so determined, would keep his word; they continued 
to threaten, but they began to disperse. 

" Drive to the palace," said Comminges to the coachman, 
more dead than alive. 

The man whipped his animals, which cleared a way through 
the crowd; but on arriving on the Quai, they were obliged to 
stop; the carriage was upset, the horses were carried off, 
stifled, mangled by the crowd. Raoul, on foot, for he had 
not had time to mount his horse again, tired, like the guards, 
of distributing blows with the flat of his sword, had recourse 
to its point. But this last and dreaded resource served only 
to exasperate the multitude. From time to time a shot from 
a musket, or the blade of a rapier, flashed among the crowd; 
the projectiles continued to rain from the windows, and some 
shots were heard, the echo of which, though they were 
probably fired in the air, made all hearts vibrate. Voices, 
which are heard but on days of revolution, were distinguished; 
faces were seen that only appeared on days of bloodshed. 
Cries of "Death! death to the guards! to the Seine with 
the officer!" were heard above all the noise, deafening as it 
was. Raoul, his hat ground to powder, and his face bleeding, 
felt not only his strength, but also his reason going; a red mist 
covered his sight, and through this mist he saw a hundred 
threatening arms stretched over him, ready to seize upon him 
when he fell. The guards were unable to help any one for 
each was occupied with his personal preservation. All was 
over; carriages, horses, guards, and perhaps even the prisoner, 
were about to be torn to shreds, when all at once a voice well 
known to Raoul was heard, and suddenly a large sword glis 
tened in the air; at the same time the crowd opened upset, 
trodden down and an officer of the musketeers, striking and 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 251 

cutting right and left, rushed up to Raoul, and took him in 
his arms, just as he was about to fall. 

"God's-blood," cried the officer, " have they killed him? 
Woe to them if it be so." 

And he turned round, so stern with anger, strength, and 
threat, that the most excited rebels hustled back against one 
another in order to escape, and some of them even rolled into 
the Seine. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan!" murmured Raoul. 

" Yes, s'death, in person, and fortunately it seems for you, 
my young friend. Come on here you others," he con 
tinued, rising in his stirrups and raising his sword, and 
addressing those musketeers who had not been able to follow 
his rapid pace, " come, sweep away all that for me shoulder 
muskets present arms aim " 

At this command the mountains of populace thinned so 
suddenly that D'Artagnan could not repress a burst of 
Homeric laughter. 

" Thank you, D'Artagnan," said Comminges, showing half 
of his body through the window of the broken vehicle, 
"thanks, my young friend; your name? that I may men 
tion it to the queen." 

Raoul was about to reply, when D'Artagnan bent down to 
his ear. 

" Hold your tongue," said he, "and let me answer. Do 
not lose time, Comminges," he continued; "get out of the 
carriage, if you can, and make another draw up; be quick, 
or in five minutes all the mob will be back with swords and 
muskets, you will be killed, and your prisoner freed. Hold 
there is a carriage coming down there." 

Then, bending again to Raoul, he whispered: "Above all 
things, don't tell your name." 

"That's right. I will go," said Comminges; "and if they 
come back, fire!" 

" Not at all not at all." replied D'Artagnan; " let no one 
move. On the contrary, one shot at this moment would be 
paid for dearly to-morrow." 

Comminges took his four guards and as many musketeers, 
and ran to the carriage, from which he made the people 
inside dismount, and brought them to the vehicle which had 
upset. But when it was necessary to convey the prisoner 
from one carriage to the other, the people, catching sight of 
him whom they called their liberator, uttered every imagi 
nable cry, and knotted once more against the vehicle. 

"Start off!" said D'Artagnan. "There are ten men to 



252 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

accompany yon. I will keep twenty to hold in the mob; go, 
and lose not a moment. Ten men for Monsieur de Com- 
minges!" 

As the carriage started off the cries were redoubled, and 
more than ten thousand were hurried on the Quai, and 
encumbered the Pont Neuf and the adjacent streets. A few 
shots were fired, and a musketeer wounded. 

" Forward!" cried D'Artagnan, driven to extremities, biting 
his mustache; and then he charged with his twenty men, 
and dispersed them in fear. One man alone remained in his 
place, gun in hand. 

"Ah!" he exclaimed, " it is thou who wouldst have him 
assassinated? wait an instant." And he pointed his gun at 
D'Artagnan, who was riding toward him at full speed. D'Ar 
tagnan bent down to his horse's neck, the young man fired, 
and the ball severed the feather from the hat. The horse, 
startled, brushed against the imprudent man, who thought by 
his strength alone to stay the tempest, and he fell against the 
wall. D'Artagnan pulled up his horse, and while his mus 
keteers continued to charge, he returned, and bent with drawn 
sword over the man whom he had knocked down. 

"Oh, sir!" exclaimed Raoul, recognizing the young man as 
having seen him in the Rue Cocatrix "spare him it is his 
son!" 

D'Artagnan's arm dropped to his side. " Ah, you are his 
son!" he said "that is a different thing." 

"Sir, I surrender," said Louvieres, presenting his unloaded 
gun to the officer. 

"Eh, no; do not surrender, egad! On the contrary, be off, 
and quickly. If I take you, you will be hung." 

The young man waited not to be told twice; but, passing 
under the horse's head, disappeared at the corner of the Rue 
Guen6gaud. 

" Ff aith !" said D'Artagnan to Raoul, "you were Justin 
time to stay my hand. He was a dead man: and, by my 
faith, if I had discovered that it was his son, I should have 
regretted having killed him." 

"Ah! sir," said Raoul, *' allow me, after thanking you for 
that poor fellow, to thank you on my own account. I too, 
sir, was almost dead when you arrived." 

"Wait- wait, young man, and do not fatigue yourself with 
speaking. We can talk of it afterward." 

Then, seeing that the musketeers had cleared the Quai 
from the Pout Neuf to the Quai St. Michael, and that they 
were returned, he raised his sword for them to double their 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 253 

speed. The musketeers trotted up, and at the same time the 
ten men whom D'Artagnan had given to Comminges 
appeared. 

"Holloa!" cried D'Artaguau; " has something fresh hap 
pened ?" 

" Eh, sir!" replied the sergeant, " their vehicle has broken 
down a second time it is really doomed." 

"They are bad managers," said D'Artagnan, shrugging his 
shoulders. " When a carriage is chosen, it ought to be 
strong. The carriage in which a Broussel is to be arrested 
ought to be able to bear ten thousand men/' 

" What are your commands, my lieutenant?" 

" Take the detachment, and conduct him to his place." 

"But you will be left alone?" 

"Certainly. Do you suppose I have need of an escort? 
Go." 

The musketeers set off, and D'Artagnan was left alone with 
RaouL 

" Now," he said, "are you in pain?" 

" Yes, my head is heavy and burning." 

"What's the matter with this head?" said D'Artagnan, 
raising the battered hat. " Ah! ah! a bruise." 

" Yes, I think I received a flower-pot upon my head." 

" Brutes!" said D'Artagnan. "But were you not on horse 
back? you have spurs." 

" Yes, but I got down to defend Monsieur de Comminges, 
and my horse was taken away. Here it is, I see. " 

At this very moment Friquet passed, mounted on .Raoul'a 
horse, waving his parti-colored cap, and crying, "Broussel! 
Broussel !" 

"Holloa! stop, rascal!" cried D'Artagnan. "Bring hither 
that horse." 

Friquet heard perfectly, but he pretended not to do so, and 
tried to continue his road. D'Artagnan felt inclined for an 
instant to pursue Master Friquet, but not wishing to leave 
Raoul alone, he contented himself with taking a pistol from 
the holster, and cocking it. 

Friquet had a quick eye and a fine ear. He saw D'Artag- 
nan's movement; heard the sound of the click, and stopped 
at once. 

"Ahl it is you, your honor," he said, advancing toward 
D'Artagnan; " and I am truly pleased to meet you." 

D'Artagnan looked attentively at Friquet, and recognized 
the little boy of the Kue de la Calandre. 

" Ah, 'tis thou, rascal!" said he, "come here. So thou 



254 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

hast changed thy trade; thou art no longer a choir-boy, or a 
tavern-boy; thou art then become a horse stealer?" 

"Ah, yonr honor, how can you say so!" exclaimed Friquet. 
" I was seeking the gentleman to whom this horse belongs 
an officer, brave and handsome as a Caesar" then, pretend 
ing to see Raoul for the first time 

"Ah! but if I mistake not," continued he, "here he is; 
you won't forget the boy, sir?" 

Raoul put his hand in his pocket. 

" What are you about?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" To give ten francs to this honest fellow," replied Raoul, 
taking a pistole from his pocket. 

" Ten kicks on his back!" said D'Artagnan; " be off, you 
little rascal, and forget not that I have your address." 

Friquet, who did not expect to be let off so cheaply, made but 
one bound to the Quai a la Rne Dauphine, and disappeared. 
Raoul mounted his horse, and both leisurely took their way 
to the Rue Tiquetonne. 

D'Artagnan- protected the youth as if he were his own son. 

They arrived without accident at the Hotel de la Chevrette. 

The handsome Madeleine announced to D'Artagnan that 
Planchet had returned, bringing Mousqueton with him, who 
had heroically borne the extraction of the ball, and was as 
well as his state would permit. 

D'Artagnan desired Planchet to be summoned, but he had 
disappeared. 

"Then bring some wine," said D'Artagnan. "You are 
much pleased with yourself?" said he to Raoul, when they 
were alone, "are you not?" 

" Well, yes," replied Raoul; " it seems to me that I did 
my duty. I defended the king." 

' And who told you to defend the king?" 
' The Count de la Fere himself!" 

* Yes, the king; but to-day you have not fought for the 
king, you have fought for Mazarin; it is not the same thing." 
' But you yourself?" 

' Oh, for me; it is another matter. I obey my captain's 
orders. As for you, your captain is the prince. Understand 
that rightly; you have no other. But has one ever seen 
such a wild fellow," continued he, " making himself a 
Mazarinist, and helping to arrest Broussel! Breathe not a 
word of that, or the Count de la Fere will be furious." 

"You think that the count will be angry with me?" 

"Do I think it? I am sure of it; were it not for that, I 
should thank you, for you have worked for us. However, I 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 255 

scold you instead of him, and in his place; the storm will 
blow over more easily, believe me. And, moreover, my dear 
child," continued D'Artagnan, "I am making use of the 
privilege conceded to me by your guardian." 

" I do not understand you, sir," said Raoul. 

D'Artagnan rose, and taking a letter from his writing-desk 
presented it to Raoul. The face of the latter became serious 
when he had cast his eyes on the paper. 

"Oh, monDieu! he said, raising his fine eyes to D'Ar 
tagnan, moist with tears, " the count has then left Paris 
without seeing me?" 

" He left four days ago," said D'Artagnau. 

" But his letter seems to intimate that he is about to incur 
danger, perhaps of death." 

"He he incur danger of death! no be not anxious; 
he is traveling on business, and will return ere long. I hope 
you have no repugnance to accept me as a guardian in the 
interim?" 

"Oh, no, Monsieur D'Artagnan," said Raoul, "you are 
such a brave gentleman, and the Count de la Fe"re has so 
much affection for you!" 

"Eh, egad! love me too: I will not torment you much, but 
only on condition that you become a Frondist, my young 
friend, and a hearty Frondist, too." 

" Well, sir, I will obey you, although I do not understand 
you." 

" It is unnecessary for you to understand; hold, "continued 
D'Artagnan, turning toward the door, which had just 
opened, " here is Monsieur de Valon, who comes with his coat 
torn." 

" Yes, but in exchange," said Porthos, covered with per 
spiration, and soiled in dust "in exchange, I have torn 
many skins. Those wretches wanted to take away my sword. 
Deuce take 'em, what a popular commotion!" continued the 
giant, in his quiet manner; "but I knocked down more 
than twenty with the hilt of Balizarde a drop of wine, 
D'Artagnan." 

" Oh, I'll answer for you," said the Gascon, filling Porthos' 
glass to the brim, " but, when you have drunk, give me your 
opinion.*' 

" Upon what?" asked Porthos. 

" Look here," resumed D'Artagnan; "here is Monsieur de 
Bragelonne, who determined, at all risks, to aid the arrest of 
Broussel, and whom I had great difficulty to prevent defend 
ing Monsieur de Comminges." 



256 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"The devil!" said Porthos; "and the guardian, what 
would he have said to that?" 

" Do yon hear?" interrupted D'Artagnan; " be a Frondist, 
my friend, belong to the Fronde, and remember that I fill 
the count's place in everything;" and he jingled his money. 

" Will you come?" said he to Porthos. 

" Where to?" asked Porthos, filling a second glass of wine. 

" To present our respects to the cardinal." 

Porthos swallowed the second glass with the same ease with 
which he had drunk the first, took his beaver, and followed 
D'Artagnan. As for Raoul, he remained bewildered with 
what he had seen, having been forbidden by D'Artagnan to 
leave the room until the tumult was over. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

THE BEGGAR OF ST. EUSTACHE. 

D'ARTAGNAN had calculated that in not going at once to 
the Palais Royal he would give time to Comminges to arrive 
there before him, and consequently to make the cardinal ac 
quainted with the eminent services which he D'Artagnan 
and his friend had rendered to the queen's party in the 
morning. 

They were indeed admirably received by Mazarin, who paid 
them numerous compliments, and announced that they were 
more than half on their way to obtain what they desired, 
namely, D'Artagnan his captaincy, and Porthos his barony. 

While the two friends were with the cardinal, the queen 
sent for him. Mazarin, thinking that it would be the means 
of increasing the zeal of his two defenders if he procured 
them personal thanks from the queen, motioned to them to 
follow him. D'Artagnan and Porthos pointed to their dusty 
and torn dresses, but the cardinal shook his head. 

" Those costumes," he said, " are of more worth than most 
of those which you will see on the queen's courtiers; they are 
the costumes of battle." 

D'Artagnan and Porthos obeyed. The court of Anne of 
Austria was full of gayety and animation; for after having 
gained a victory over the Spaniard, it had just gained another 
over the people. Broussel had been conducted out of Paris 
without resistance, and was at this time in the prison of St. 
Germain; and Blancmesnil, who was arrested at the same 
time, but whose arrest had been made without difficulty or 
noise, was safe in the castle of Vincennes. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 257 

Comminges was near the queen, who was questioning him 
upon the details of his expedition, and every one was listen 
ing to his account when D'Artagnan and Porthos were per 
ceived at the door behind the cardinal. 

"Hey, madame," said Comminges, hastening to D'Artag 
nan, "here is one who can tell you better than myself, for he 
is my protector. Without him I should probably, at this 
moment, be caught in the nets at St. Cloud, for it was a ques 
tion of nothing less than throwing me into the river. Speak, 
D'Artagnan, speak." 

D'Artagnan had been a hundred times in the same room 
with the queen since he had become lieutenant of the muske 
teers, but her majesty had never once spoken to him. 

" Well, sir," at last said Anne of Austria, "you are silent, 
after rendering such a service?" 

" Madame," replied D'Artagnan, " I have nought to say, 
save that my life is ever at your majesty's service; and that I 
shall only be happy the day that I lose it for you." 

" I know that, sir; I have known that," said the queen, 
"a long time; therefore I am delighted to be able thus pub 
licly to mark my gratitude and my esteem." 

"Permit me, madame," said D'Artagnan, "to reserve a 
portion for my friend; like myself " (he laid an emphasis on 
these words) "an ancient musketeer of the company of Tre- 
ville, and he has done wonders." 

" His name?" asked the queen. 

"In the regiment," said D'Artagnan, " he is called Por 
thos" (the queen started), " but his true name is the Chevalier 
de Valon." 

" De Bracieux de Pierrefonds," added Porthos. 

" These names are too numerous for me to remember them 
all, and I will content myself with the first," said the queen 
graciously. Porthos bowed. At this moment the coadjutor 
was announced; a cry of surprise ran through the royal as 
semblage. Although the coadjutor had preached that same 
morning, it was well known that he leaned much to the side 
of the Fronde; and Mazarin, in requesting the archbishop of 
Paris to make his nephew preach, had evidently had the in 
tention of administering to Monsieur de Retz one of those 
Italian kicks which he so much enjoyed giving. 

The fact was, in leaving Ndtre Dame the coadjutor had 
learned the event of the day. Although almost engaged to 
the leaders of the Fronde, he had not gone so far but that 
retreat was possible, should the court offer him the advan 
tages for which he was ambitious, and to which the coadjutor- 



258 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

ship was but a stepping-stone. Monsieur de Retz wished to 
be archbishop in his uncle's place, and cardinal, like Mazariu; 
and the popular party could with difficulty accord to him 
favors so entirely royal. He, therefore, hastened to the pal 
ace to congratulate the queen on the battle of Lens, deter 
mined beforehand to act with or against the court, according 
as his congratulations were well or ill received. 

The coadjutor had, perhaps, in his own person, as much 
wit as all those together who were assembled at the court to 
laugh at him. His speech, therefore, was so well turned, that 
in spite of the great wish felt by the courtiers to laugh, they 
could find no point upon which to vent their ridicule. He 
concluded by saying that he placed his feeble influence at her 
majesty's command. 

During the whole time that he was speaking the queen ap 
peared to be well pleased with the coadjutor's harangue; but 
terminating as it did with such a phrase, the only one which 
could be caught at by the jokers, Anne turned round and 
directed a glance toward her favorites, which announced that 
she delivered up the coadjutor to their tender mercies. Im 
mediately the wits of the court plunged into satire. Nogent- 
Beautin, the fool of the court, exclaimed that " the queen was 
very happy to have the succor of religion at such a moment." 
This caused a universal burst of laughter. The Count de 
Villeroy said " that he did not know how any fear could be 
entertained for a moment when the court had, to defend itself 
against the parliament and the citizens of Paris, his holiness, 
the coadjutor, who by a signal could raise an army of curates, 
church porters and vergers," and so on. 

During this storm, Gondy, who had it in his power to make 
it fatal to the jesters, remained calm and stern. The queen 
at last asked him if he had anything to add to the fine dis 
course which he had just made to her. 

" Yes, madame," replied the coadjutor; " I have to beg 
you to reflect twice ere you cause a civil war in the king 
dom." 

The queen turned her back, and the laughs recommenced. 

The coadjutor bowed and left the palace, casting upon the 
cardinal such a glance as is understood best between mortal 
foes. 

" Oh I" muttered Gondy, as he left the threshold of the 
palace " ungrateful court! faithless court! cowardly court. 
I will teach you how to laugh to-morrow but in another 
manner." 

But while they were indulging in extravagant joy at the 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 259 

Palais Eoyal, to increase the hilarity of the queen, Mazarin, 
a man of sense, and whose fear, moreover, gave him foresight, 
lost no time in making idle and dangerous jokes; he went 
out after the coadjutor, settled his account, locked up his 
gold, and had confidential workmen to contrive hiding-places 
in his walls. 

On his return home the coadjutor was informed that a 
young man had come in after his departure, and was waiting 
for him; he started with delight when, on demanding the 
name of this young man, he learned that it was Louvie"res. 

He immediately went to his room, and advancing toward 
him, held out his hand. The young man gazed at him as if 
he would have read the secret of his heart. 

" My dear Monsieur Louvieres," said the coadjutor, " be 
lieve how truly concerned I am for the misfortune which has 
happened to you." 

" Is that true, and do you speak seriously?" asked Louvieres. 

" From the depth of my heart," said Gondy. 

" In that case, my lord, the time for words has passed, and 
the hour for action is come. My lord, in three days, if you 
wish it, my father will be out of prison, and in six months 
you may be cardinal." 

The coadjutor started. 

"Oh! let us speak frankly," continued Louvieres, " and 
act in a straightforward manner. Thirty thousand crowns in 
alms is not given as you have done for the last six months 
out of pure Christian charity; that would be too grand. You 
are ambitious, it is natural; you are a man of genius, and 
you know your worth. As for me, I hate the court, and have 
but one desire at this moment it is for vengeance. Give us 
the clergy and the people, of whom you can dispose, and I 
will bring you the citizens and the parliament: with these 
four elements Paris is ours in a week; and believe me, Mon 
sieur Coadjutor, the court will give from fear what she will not 
give from good will." 

It was now the coadjutor's turn to fix his piercing glance 
on Louvieres. 

" But, Monsieur Louvieres, are you aware that it is simply 
civil war that you propose to me?" 

" You have been preparing it long enough, my lord, for it 
to be welcome to you now." 

" Never mind," said the coadjutor; "you must know that 
this requires reflection." 

" And how many hours of reflection do you ask?" 

" Twelve hours, sir; is it too long?" 



260 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" It is now noon: at midnight 1 will be at your house/' 

" If I atn not come in, wait for me." 

"Good! at midnight, my lord." 

"At midnight, my dear Monsieur Louvieres." 

When once more alone, Gondy sent to iummon all the 
curates with whom he had any connection, to his house. 
Two hours later, thirty officiating ministers from the most 
populous, and consequently the most disturbed, parishes 01 
Paris, had assembled together there. Gondy related to them 
the insults he had received at the Palais Royal, and retailed 
the jests of Beautin, Count do Villeroy, and the Marechal de 
la Meilleraie. The curates demanded what was to be done. 

" Simply this," said the coadjutor; " you are the directors 
of consciences. Well, undermine in them the miserable 
prejudice of respect and fear of kings teach to your flocks 
that the queen is a tyrant; and repeat, often and loudly, so 
that all may know it, that the misfortunes of France are 
caused by Mazariu, her lover and her destroyer; begin this 
work to-day, this instant even, and in three days I shall ex 
pect the result. For the rest, if any one of you have good 
counsel to give me, I shall listen to him with pleasure." 

Three curates remained: those of St. Merri, St. Sulpice, 
and St. Eustache. 

" You think, then, that yon can help me more efficaciously 
than your brothers?" said Gondy. 

" We hope so," answered the curates. 

"Let us hear. Monsieur de St. Merri, you begin." 

" My lord, I have in my parish a man who might be of the 
greatest use to you." 

"What is this man?" 

" A shopkeeper in the Rue des Lombards, who has great 
influence upon the little commerce of his quarter." 

" What is his name?" 

" He is named Planchet, who himself also caused an 
Smeute about six weeks ago; but as he was searched for after 
this emente, he disappeared." 

"And could you find him?" 

" I hope so. I think he has not been arrested, and as I 
am his wife's confessor, if she knows where he is, I shall 
know it too." 

" Very well, sir; find this man, and when you have found 
him, bring him to me." 

" We will be with you at six o'clock, my lord." 

" Go, my dear curate, and may God aid you!" 

" And you, sir," continued Gondy, turning to the curate 
of St. Sulpice. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 261 

"I, my lord," said the latter, "I know a man who has 
rendered great services to a very popular prince, and who 
would make an excellent leader of a revolt, and whom I can 
put at your disposal; it is Count de Rochefort." 

"I know him also, but unfortunately he is not in Paris." 

" My lord, he has been for three days at the Rue Cassette." 

" And wherefore has he not been to see me?" 

" He was told my lord will pardon me ?" 

" Certainly; speak." 

'' That your lordship was about to treat with the court." 

Gondy bit his lips. 

"They are mistaken; bring him here at eight o'clock, sir, 
and may heaven bless you as I bless you!" 

" And now 'tis your turn," said the coadjutor, turning to 
the last that remained, "have you anything so good to offer 
me as the two gentlemen who have left us?" 

" Better, my lord." 

"Diable! think what a solemn engagement you are mak 
ing there; one has offered a shopkeeper, the other a count; 
you are going, then, to offer a prince, are you?" 

" I offer you a beggar, my lord." 

"Ah! ah!" said Gondy, reflecting, "you are right, sir; 
some one who could raise the legion of paupers who choke 
up the crossings of Paris, some one who would know how to 
cry aloud to them, that all France might hear it, that it is 
Mazarin who has reduced them to the wallet " 

" Exactly your man." 

" Bravo! and what is the man?" 

" A simple beggar, as I have said, my lord, who asks for 
alms, as he gives holy water, a practice he has carried 
on for about six years on the steps of the Church of St. 
Eustache." 

"And you say that he has a great influence over his com 
peers?" 

"Are you aware, my lord, that mendicity is an organized 
body, a kind of association of those who have not, against 
those who have an association in which every one takes his 
share, and which elects a leader." 

" Yes, I have heard that said," replied the coadjutor. 

" Well, the man whom I offer to you is a universal 
authority." 

"And what do you know of this man?" 

" Nothing, my lord, except that he is tormented with 
remorse. " 

" What makes you think so?" 



262 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" On the twenty-eighth of every month he makes me say 
a mass for the repose of the soul of a person who died a vio 
lent death; yesterday I said this mass again." 
And his name?" 

Maillard; but I do not think it is his true name." 
And think you that we should find him at this hour at 



his 



post?' 



Certainly." 

' Let us go and see your beggar, sir, and if he is such as 
you describe him, you are right it will be you who have 
found the true treasure." 

Gondy dressed himself as an officer, put on a felt cap with 
a red feather, hung on a long sword, buckled spurs to his 
boots, wrapped himself in an ample cloak, and followed the 
curate. 

On arriving at the Rue des Prouvaires, the curate pointed 
toward the square before the church. 

" Stop!" he said, " there he is at his post." 

Gondy looked at the spot indicated, and perceived a beggar 
seated in a chair, and leaning against one of the moldings; a 
little basin was near him, and he held a holy-water brush in 
his hand. 

"Is it by permission that he remains there?" asked Gondy. 

" No, my lord; these places are bought; I think that this 
man paid his predecessor a hundred pistoles for his." 

" The rascal is rich, then?" 

"Some of these men sometimes die worth twenty thousand, 
and twenty-five, and thirty thousand francs, and sometimes 
more." 

"Hum!" said Gondy, laughing; "I was not aware that my 
alms were so well invested." 

In the meantime they were advancing toward the square, 
and the moment the coadjutor and the curate put their feet 
on the first church step, the mendicant rose and proffered his 
brush. 

He was a man between sixty-six and sixty-eight years of 
age, little, rather stout, with gray hair, and light eyes. His 
countenance denoted the struggle between two opposite prin 
ciples a wicked nature subdued by determination, perhaps 
by repentance. 

He started on seeing the cavalier with the curate. The 
latter and the coadjutor touched the brush with the tips of 
their fingers, made the sign of the cross; the coadjutor threw 
a piece of money into the hat, which was on the ground. 

" Maillard," began the curate, " this gentleman and I have 
come to talk with you a little." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 263 

"With me!" said the mendicant; "it is a great honor for 
a poor giver of holy water." 

There was an ironical tone in his voice, which he could not 
quite prevent, and which astonished the coadjutor. 

"Yes," continued the curate, apparently accustomed to his 
tone, "yes, we wish to know your opinion of the events of 
to-day, and what you have heard said by people going in and 
out of the church." 

The mendicant shook his head. 

" These are melancholy doings, your reverence, which al 
ways fall again upon the poor people. As to what is said, 
everybody is discontented everybody complains but " 

" Explain yourself, rny good friend," said the coadjutor. 

" I mean that all these cries, all these complaints, these 
curses, produce nothing but storms and flashes, and that is 
all; but the lightning will not strike until there is a hand to 
gniile it." 

"My friend," said Gondy, "you seem to be a clever man; 
are you disposed to take a part in a little civil war, should we 
have one, and put at the command of the leader should we 
find one your personal influence, and the influence you have 
acquired over your comrades." 

" Yes, sir, provided this war was approved by the church, 
and would advance the end I wish to attain I mean the re 
mission of my sins." 

" This war will not only be approved of, but directed by the 
church. As for the remission of your sins, we have the arch 
bishop of Paris, who has great power at the court of Rome, 
and even the coadjutor, who possesses some particular indul 
gences we will recommend you to him. And do you think 
your power as great with your fraternity as Monsieur le Cure 
told me it was just now?" 

" I think they have some esteem for me," said the mendi 
cant, with pride, " and not only they will obey me, but that, 
wherever I go, they will follow me." 

"And could you count upon fifty resolute men, good, un 
employed, but active souls, brawlers capable of bringing down 
the walls of the Palais Royale by crying ' Down with Mazarin/ 
as fell all those at Jericho?" 

"I think," said the beggar, "that I can undertake things 
more difficult, and more important than that." 

"Ah, ah," said Gondy, "you will undertake, then, some 
night, to throw up some ten barricades." 

" I will undertake to throw up fifty, and when the day 
comes to defend them." 



264 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" I'faith!" exclaimed Gondy, "you speak with a certainty 
that gives me pleasure; and since Monsieur le Cure can an 
swer for you " 

"I answer for him," said the curate. 

" Here is a bag containing five hundred pistoles in gold 
make all your arrangements, and tell me where I shall be able 
to find you this evening at ten o'clock." 

" It must be on some elevated place, whence a given signal 
may be seen in every quarter of Paris." 

" Shall I give you a line for the Vicar of St. Jaques-de-la- 
Boucherie? he will let yon into the rooms in his tower," said 
the curate. 

" Capital," answered the mendicant. 

" Then," said the coadjutor, " this evening at ten o'clock; 
and if I am pleased with you, another bag of five hundred 
pistoles will be at your disposal." 

The eyes of the mendicant flashed with cupidity, but he 
suppressed this emotion. 

" This evening, sir," he replied, " all will be ready." 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

THE TOWER OF ST. JAQUES-DE-LA-BOUCHERIE. 

AT a quarter to six o'clock, Monsieur de Gondy, having 
finished all his business, returned to the archiepiscopal 
palace. 

At six o'clock the curate of St. Merri was announced. 

The coadjutor glanced rapidly behind, and saw that he was 
followed by another man. The curate then entered, followed 
by Planchet. 

" Your holiness," said the curate, " here is the person of 
whom I had the honor to speak to you." 

"And you are disposed to serve the cause of the people?" 
asked Goudy. 

" Most undoubtedly," said Planchet. " I am a Frondist 
from my heart. You see in me, such as I am, my lord, a 
person sentenced to be hung." 

" And on what account?" 

" I rescued from the hands of Mazarin's police a noble lord, 
whom they were conducting again to the Bastille, where he 
had been for five years." 

"Will you name him?" 

" Oh, you know him well, my lord it is Count de Roche- 
fort." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 265 

" Ah! really, yes," said the coadjutor, '' I have heard this 
affair mentioned. You raised the whole district, they told 
me?" 

" Very nearly," replied Planchet, with a self-satisfied air. 

" And your business is " 

" That of a confectioner, in the Rue des Lombard^." 

" Explain to me how it happens that, following, so peace 
ful a business, you had such warlike inclinations." 

'Why does rny lord, belonging to the church, now receive 
me in the dress of an officer with a sword at his side, and 
spurs to his boots?" 

"Not badly answered, i'faith," said Gondy, laughing; 
" but I have, you must know, always had, in spite of rny 
bands, warlike inclinations/' 

" Well, my lord, before I became a confectioner, I myself 
was three years sergeant in the Piedmontese regiment, and 
before I became sergeant I was for eighteen months the serv 
ant of Monsieur D'Artagnan." 

" The lieutenant of the musketeers?" asked Gondy. 

" Himself, my lord." 

" But he is said to be a furious Mazarinist." 

"Hew!" said Planchet. 

" What do you mean by that?" 

"Nothing, my lord; Monsieur D'Artagnan belongs to the 
service; Monsieur D'Artagnan makes it his business to defend 
the cardinal, who pays him, as much as we make it ours we 
citizens to attack him, whom he robs." 

" You are an intelligent fellow, my friend; can we count 
upon you?" 

"You may count upon me, my lord, provided you want to 
make a total overturning in the city." 

" 'Tis that exactly. How many men, think you, you could 
collect together to-night?" 

"Two hundred muskets, and five hundred halberds." 

" Let there be only one man in every district who can do as 
much, and by to-morrow we shall have a tolerably strong 
army. Are you disposed to obey Count de Bochefort?" 

" I would follow him to hell; and that is not saying a 
little, as I believe him quite capable of descending there." 

"Bravo!" 

"By what sign to-morrow shall we be able to distinguish 
friends from foes?" 

"Every Frondist must put a knot of straw in his hat." 

"Good! Give the watchword." 

" Do you want money?" 
12 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



266 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Money never conies amiss at anytime, my lord; if one 
has it not, one must do without it; with it matters go on 
much better, and more rapidly." 

Gondy went to a box and drew forth a bag. 

"Here are five hundred pistoles," he said; "and if the 
action goes off well you may reckon upon a similar sum to 
morrow." 

" I will give a faithful account of the sum to your lord 
ship," said Plauchet, putting the bag under his arm. 

" That is right: I recommend the cardinal to your atten 
tion." 

"Make your mind easy, he is in good hands." 

Planchet went out, and ten minutes later tiie curate of St. 
Sulpice was announced. As soon as the door of Gondy's 
study was opened, a man rushed in; it was Count de Roche- 
fort. 

" It is you, then, my dear count," cried Gondy, offering 
his hand. 

"You are decided at last, my lord?" said Rochefort. 

" I have ever been so," said Gondy. 

" Let us speak no more on that subject: you tell me so I 
believe you. Well, we are going to give a ball to Mazarin." 

" I hope so." 

" And when will the dance begin?" 

" The invitations are given for this evening," said the co 
adjutor, " but the violins will only begin to play to-morrow 
morning." 

" You may reckon upon me, and upon fifty soldiers which 
the Chevalier d'Humieres has promised to me, whenever I 
might need them." 

"Upon fifty soldiers?" \ 

" Yes, he is making recruits, and he will lend them to me; 
if any are missing when thefe'te is over, I shall replace them." 

" Good, my dear Rochefort; but that is not all. What 
have you done with Monsieur de Beaufort?" 

" He is in Vendome, where he waits until I write to him 
to return to Paris." 

" Write to him now's the time." 

"You are sure of your enterprise?" 

" Yes, but he must hurry himself; for hardly shall the 
people of Paris have revolted, than we shall have ten princes 
to one, wishing to be at their head: if he defers, he will find 
the place taken." 

"And you will leave all command to him?" 

" For the war, yes; but in politics " 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 267 

" You know it is not his element." 

"He must leave me to negotiate for my cardinal's hat in 
my own fashion." 

" You care about it so much?" 

" Since they force me to wear a hat of a form which does 
not become me," said Gondy, " I wish at least that the hat 
should be red." 

" One must not dispute taste and colors," said Rochefort, 
laughing. " I answer for his consent." 

" How soon can he be here?" 

"In five days." 

" Let him come, and he will find a change, I will answer 
for it. Therefore, go and collect your fifty men, and hold 
yourself in readiness." 
For what?" 

'For everything." 

'Is there any signal for rallying?" 
A knot of straw in the hat?" 

'Very good. Adieu, my lord." 

Adieu, my dear Rochefort." 

'Ah! Monsieur Mazarin, Monsieur Mazariu," said Roche- 
fort, leading off his curate, who had not found an opportu 
nity of uttering a single word during the foregoing dialogue, 
"you will see whether I am too old to be a man of action." 

It was half-past nine o'clock, and the coadjutor required 
half an hour to go from the archbishop's palace to the tower 
of St. Jaques-de-la-Boucherie, He remarked that a light 
burned in one of the highest windows of the tower. "Good," 
said he, " our syndic is at his post." 

He knocked, and the door was opened. The vicar himself 
awaited him, conducted him to the top of the tower, and 
when there pointed to a little door, placed the light which he 
had brought with him in the corner of the wall, that the co 
adjutor might be able to find it on his return, and went down 
again. Although the key was in the door, the coadjutor 
knocked. 

"Come in," said a voice which he recognized as that of 
the mendicant, whom he found lying on a kind of truckle 
bed. He rose on the entrance of the coadjutor, and at that 
moment ten o'clock struck. 

"Well," said Gondy, "have you kept your word with me?" 

" Not quite," replied the mendicant. 

"How is that?" 

" You asked me for five hundred men, did you not? Well, 
I shalJ have ten thousand for you.*' 



268 TWENTY YEARS AFTEfL 

" You are not boasting?" 

" Do you wish for a proof?" 

" Yes." 

There were three candles alight each of which burned 
before a window one looking upon the city, the other upon 
the Palais Koyal, and a third upon the Rue St. Denis. 

The man went silently to each of the candles, and blew 
them out one after the other. 

' What are you doing?" asked the coadjutor. 

"I have given the signal." 

"For what?" 

" For the barricades. When you leave this, you will see 
my men at their work. Only take care not to break your 
legs in stumbling over some chain, nor to fall into some hole." 

" Good! there is your money the same sum as that which 
you have received already. Now remember that you are a 
general, and do not go and drink." 

" For twenty years I have tasted nothing but water." 

The man took the bag from the hands of the coadjutor, 
who heard the sound of his fingers counting and handling the 
gold pieces. 

"Ah! ah!" said the coadjutor, "you are avaricious, my 
good fellow." 

The mendicant sighed, and threw down the bag. 

" Must I always be the same," said he, " and shall I 
never succeed in overcoming the old leaven? Oh misery, oh 
vanity!" 

" You take it, however." 

" Yes, but I make a vow in your presence, to employ all 
that remains to me in pious works." 

His face was pale and drawn, like that of a man who had 
just undergone an inward struggle. 

" Singular man!" muttered Gondy, taking his hat to go 
away, when he saw the beggar between him and the door. 
His first idea was that this man intended to do him some 
harm but on the contrary he soon fell on his knees before 
him, with his hands clasped. 

"Yonr blessing, your holiness, before you go, I bestvwh 
you !" he cried. 

" Your holiness!" said Gondy; " my friend, you take TOO 
for some one else." 

"' No, your holiness, I take you for what you are; that is to 
eay, the coadjutor I recognized you at the first glance." 

Gondy smiled. "And you want my blessing?* he said. 

" Yes, I have need of it." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 269 

The mendicant uttered these words in a tone of such great 
humility, and such earnest repentance, thatGoudy placed his 
hand upon him, and gave him his benediction with all the 
unction of which he was capable. 

" Now," said the coadjutor, " there is a communion between 
us. I have blessed you, and you are sacred to me. Come, 
have you committed some crime, pursued by human justice, 
from which I can protect you?" 

The beggar shook his head. " The crime which I have 
committed, my lord, has no call upon human justice, and you 
can only deliver me from it in blessing me frequently as you 
have just done." 

"Come, be candid/' said the coadjutor, "you have not all 
your life followed the trade which you do now?" 

"No, my lord. I have pursued it for six years only." 

"And previously, where were you?" 

" In the Bastille." 

"And before you went to the Bastille?" 

" I will tell you, my lord, on the day when you are willing 
to hear my confession." 

" Good! at whatever hour of the day, or of the night on 
which you present yourself, remember that I shall be ready 
to give you absolution." 

" Thank you, my lord," said the mendicant in a hoarse 
voice. " But I am not yet ready to receive it." 

"Very well. Adieu." 

" Adieu, your holiness," said the mendicant, opening the 
door, and bending low before the prelate. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

THE RIOT. 

IT WAS about eleven o'clock at night. Gondy had not 
walked a hundred steps ere he perceived the strange change 
which had been made in the streets of Paris. 

The whole city seemed peopled with fantastic beings; silent 
shadows were seen unpaving the streets, and others dragging 
and upsetting great wagons, while others again dug ditches 
large enough to engulf whole regiments of horsemen. 
These active beings flitted here and there like so many 
demons completing some unknown labor these were the beg 
gars of the Court of Miracles the agents of the giver of holy 
water in the square of St. Eustache preparing the barricades 
for the morrow. 



2?0 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Gondy gazed on these men of darkness these nocturnal 
laborers with a kind of fear: he asked himself if, after hav 
ing called forth these foul creatures from their dens, he 
sliould have the power of making them retire again. He felt 
almost inclined to cross himself when one of these beings 
happened to approach him. He reached the Rue St. Honore 
and went up it toward the Rue de la Ferronie're: there, the 
aspect changed; here it was the tradesmen who were running 
from shop to shop: their doors seemed closed like their shut 
ters; but they were only pushed-to in such a manner as to 
open and allow the men, who seemed fearful of showing 
what they carried, to enter, closing immediately. These 
men were shopkeepers, who had arms to lend to those who 
had none. 

One individual went from door to door, bending under the 
weight of swords, guns, muskets, and every kind of weapon, 
w Irish he deposited as fast as he could. By the light of a 
lantern the coadjutor recognized Planchet. 

On reaching the Pont Neuf, the coadjutor found this bridge 
guarded, and a man approached him. 

" Who are you?" asked the man; " I do not know you for 
one of us." 

" Then it is because you do not know your friends, my 
dear Monsieur Louvieres," said the coadjutor, raising his 
hat. 

Louvieres recognized him and bowed. 

Gondy continued his way, and went as far as the Tour de 
Nesle. There he saw a long line of people gliding under the 
walls. They might be said to be a procession of ghosts, for 
they were all wrapped in white cloaks. When they reached 
a certain spot, these men seemed to be annihilated one after 
the other, as if the earth had opened under their feet. 
Gondy edged into a corner, saw them vanish from the first 
until the last but one. The last raised his eyes, to ascertain 
doubtless that neither his companions nor himself had been 
watched, and in spite of the darkness he perceived Gondy. 
He walked straight up to him, and placed a pistol to his 
throat. 

" Holloa, Monsieur de Rochefort," said Gondy, laughing, 
"do not let us play with firearms." 

Rochefort recognized the voice. 

" Ah, it is you, my lord," said he. 

" Myself. What people are you leading thus into the bowels 
of the earth?" 

" My tifty recruits from the Chevalier d'Humieres, who are 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 271 

destined to outer the light cavalry, and who have oiily received 
for their equipment their white cloaks/' 

"And where are you going?'* 

" To one of my friends, a sculptor, only we descend by the 
trap through which he lets down his marble.'* 

" Very good," said Gondy, shaking Rochefort by the 
hand, who descended in his turn, and closed the trap after 
him. 

It was now one o'clock in the morning, and the coadjutor 
returned home. He opened a window and leaned out to 
listen. A strange, incomprehensible, unearthly sound seemed 
to pervade the whole city; one felt that something unusual 
and terrible was happening in all the streets, now dark as 
abysses. 

The work of revolt continued the whole night thus. The 
next morning, on awaking, Paris seemed to be startled at 
her own appearance. It was like a besieged town. Armed 
men, shouldering muskets, watched over the barricades 
with menacing looks; words of command, patrols, arrests, 
executions, even, were encountered at every step. Those 
bearing plumed hats and gold swords were stopped and made 
to cry, "Long live Broussel!" "Down with Mazarin!" and 
whoever refused to comply with this ceremony was hooted 
at, spat upon, and even beaten. They had not yet begun to 
slay, but it was well felt that the inclination to do so was not 
wanting. 

The barricades had been pushed as far as the Palais Royal, 
and the astonishment of Mazarin and of Anne of Austria 
was great when it was announced to them that the city, 
which the previous evening they had left tranquil, had 
awakened so feverish and in such commotion; nor would 
either the one or the other believe the reports which were 
brought to them, and declared that they would rather rely 
on the evidence of their own eyes and ears. Then a window 
was opened, and when they saw and heard, they were 
convinced. 

Mazarin shrugged his shoulders, and pretended to despise 
the populace much; but he turned visibly pale, and ran to 
his closet trembling all over, locked up his gold and jewels in 
his caskets, and put his finest diamonds on his fingers. As 
for the queen, furious, and left to her own guidance, she sent 
for the Marechal de la Meilleraie, and desired him to take as 
many men as he pleased, and to go and see what was the 
meaning of this pleasantry. 

We have already said that Mazarin was in his closet, putting 



272 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

his little affairs into order. He called for D'Artagnan, but 
in the midst of such tumult he little expected to see him, 
D'Artagnan uot being on service. In about ten miuntes 
D'Artagnan appeared at the door, followed by his inseparable, 
Porthos. 

"Ah, come come in, Monsieur d'Artagnan," cried the 
cardinal, "and be welcome, as well as your friend. But what 
is going on, then, in this cursed Paris?" 

" What is going on, my lord? nothing good," replied 
D'Artagnan, shaking his head: "the town is in onen revolt; 
and just now, as I was crossing the Rue Montorgueil with 
Monsieur de Valon, who is here, and is your humble servant, 
they wanted, in spite of my uniform, or, perhaps, because 
of my uniform, to make us cry, ' Long live Broussel!' and 
must I tell you, my lord, what they wished us to cry as 
well?" 

" Speak, speak." 

" ' Down with Mazarin!' Ffaith, the big word is out now." 

Mazarin smiled, but became very pale. 

"And you did cry?" he asked. 

" I'faith, no," said D'Artagnan, "I wasTiot in voice; 
Monsieur de Valou has a cold, and did not cry either. Then, 
my lord " 

"Then what?" asked Mazarin. 

" Look at my hat and cloak." 

And D'Artagnan displayed four gunshot holes in his cloak 
and two in his beaver. As for Porthos' coat, a blow from a 
halberd had cut it open on the flank, and a pistol-shot had 
cut his feather in two. 

" Diavolo /" said the cardinal, pensively, gazing at the 
two friends with lively admiration; " I should have cried, I 
Bhould." 

At this moment the tumult was heard nearer. 

Mazarin wiped his forehead and looked around him. He 
had a great desire to go to the window, but he dared not. 

" See what is going on, Monsieur d'Artagnan," said he. 

D'Artagnan went to the window, with his habitual com 
posure. 

"Oh! oh!" said he, "what is that? Marechal de la 
Meilleraie returning without a hat Fontrailles with his arm 
in a sling wounded guards horses bleeding eh, then, 
what are the sentinels about? they are aiming they are going 
to fire!" 

" They have received orders to fire on the people, if the 
people approach the Palais Royal!" exclaimed Mazarin. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 273 

"But if they fire all is lost!" cried D'Artagnan. 

" We have the gates." 

"The gates! to hold for five minutes the gates, they will 
be torn down, bent, ground to powder! God's death, don't 
fire!" screamed D'Artagnan, throwing open the window. 

In spite of this recommendation, which, owing to the 
noise, could not have been heard, two or three rnusKet-shots 
resounded, which was succeeded by a terrible discharge. The 
balls might be heard peppering the faQadeof the Palais Royal, 
and one of them, passing under D'Artagnan's arm, entered 
and broke a mirror, in which Forth os was complacently ad 
miring himself. 

" Alack, alack," cried the cardinal; "a Venetian glass!" 

" Oh, my lord," said D'Artagnan, quietly shutting the 
window, "it is not worth while weeping yet, for probably an 
hour hence there will not be one of your mirrors remaining 
in the Palais Royal, whether they be Venetian or Parisian." 

" But what do you advise, then?" asked Mazarin, trembling. 

"Eh, egad, to give up Broussel, as they demand! What 
the devil do you want with a member of the parliament? 
He is of no use for anything." 

"And you, Monsieur de Valon, is that your advice? What 
tfould you do?" 

" 1 should give up Broussel." 

" Come, come with me, gentlemen!" exclaimed Mazarin. 
U I will go and discuss the matter with the queen." 

He stopped at the end of the corridor, and said: 

"I can count upon you, gentlemen, can I not?" 

" We do not give ourselves twice over," said D'Artagnan; 
" we have given ourselves to you command, we shall obey." 

"Very well, then," said Mazarin; "enter this closet and 
vait there." 

And turning off, he entered the drawing-room by another 
door. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

THE RIOT BECOMES A REVOLUTION". 

THE closet into which D'Artagnan and Porthos had been 
ushered was separated from the drawing-room where the 
queen was by tapestried curtains only, and this thin partition 
enabled them to hear all that passed in the adjoining room, 
while the aperture between the two hangings, small as it was, 
permitted them to see. 



274 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The queen was standing in the room, pale with anger; her 
self-control, however, was so great that it might have been 
supposed that she was calm. Comminges, Villequier, and 
Guitant were behind her, and the women again were behind the 
men. The Chancellor Seguier, who twenty years previously 
had persecuted her so violently, was before her, relating how 
his carriage had been broken, how he had been pursued, and 
had rushed into the Hotel d'O , that the hotel was im 
mediately invested, pillaged, and devastated: happily, he hud 
time to reach a closet hidden behind tapestry, in which he 
was secreted by an old woman, together with his brother, the 
Bishop of Meanx. Fortunately, however, he had not been 
taken; the people, believing that he had escaped by some back 
entrance, had retired, and left him to retreat at liberty. 

Then, disguised in the clothes of the Marquis d'O , he 

had left the hotel, stumbling over the bodies of an officer and 
those of two guards who were killed while defending the 
street door. 

During the recital Mazarin entered and glided noiselessly 
np to the queen to listen. 

" WeH*" said the queen, when the chancellor had finished 
speaking; " what do you think of it all?" 

" I think that matters look very gloomy, madarne." 

" But what step would you propose to me?" 

"I could propose one to your majesty but I dare not." 

" You may, you may, sir," said the queen, with a bitter 
smile; "you were not so timid once." 

The chancellor reddened, and stammered some words. 

" It is not a question of the past, but of the present," said 
the queen; "you said you could give me advice what is it?" 

" Madame," said the chancellor, hesitating, "it would be 
to release Bronssel." 

The queen, although already pale, became visibly paler, 
and her face was contracted. 

"Release Broussel!" she cried, " never!" 

At this moment steps were heard in the anteroom, and, 
without any announcement, the Marechal de la Meilleraie 
appeared at the door. 

" Ah, there you are, marechal," cried Anne of Austria joy 
fully. " I trust you have brought this rabble to reason." 

"Madame," replied the marechal, " I have left three men 
on the Pont Nenf, four at the Halle, six at the corner of the 
Rue de FArbre-Sec, and two at the door of your palace fif 
teen in all. I have brought away ten or twelve wounded. I 
know not where I have left my hat, and in all probability I 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 275 

should have been left with my hat, had the coadjutor not ar 
rived in time to rescue me." 

"Ah, indeed!" said the queen, " it would have astonished 
me if that low cur, with his distorted legs, had not been 
mixed up with it." 

" Madame," said La Meilleraie, " do not say too much 
against him before me, for the service he rendered me is still 
fresh." 

" Very good," said the queen, " be as grateful as you like, 
it does not implicate me; you are here safe and sound, that is 
all I wished for, therefore you are not only welcome, but 
welcome back." 

"Yes, madame; but I only came back on one condition 
that I would transmit to your majesty the will of the people." 

"The will!" exclaimed the queen, frowning. "Oh! oh! 
Monsieur Marechal, you must indeed have found yourself in 
great peril to have undertaken so strange a commission!" 

The irony with which these words were uttered did not es 
cape the marechal. 

" Pardon, madame," he said, " I am not a lawyer, I am a 
mere soldier, and probably, therefore, I do not quite compre 
hend the value of certain words; I ought to have said the 
wishes, and not the will, of the people. As for what you do 
me the honor to say, I presume that you mean that I felt 
fear." 

The queen smiled. 

" Well, then, madame, yes I did feel fear; and though I 
have seen twelve pitched battles, and I know not how many 
fights and skirmishes, I own that, for the third time in my 
life, I was afraid. Yes; and I would rather face your majesty, 
however threatening your smile, than face those hell-, 
demons who accompanied me hither, and who spring from I 
know not where." 

"Bravo," said D'Artagnan, in a whisper to Porthos; 
'* well answered." 

"Well," said the queen, biting her lips, while her courtiers 
looked at each other with surprise, " what is the desire of my 
people?" 

"That Broussel should be given up to them, madame." 

" Never!" said the queen, "never!" 

"Your majesty is mistress, "said La Meilleraie, retreating a 
few steps. 

" Where are you going, marechal?" asked the queen. 

" To give your majesty's reply to those who await it." 

"Stay, marechal; I will not appear to parley with the 

v i * * * * * 

rebels." 



276 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Madame, I have given my word; and unless you order me 
to be arrested, I shall be forced to return." 

Anne of Austria's eyes shot glances of fire. 

" Oh! that is no impediment, sir/' said she; " I have had 
greater men than you arrested Guitaut!" 

Mazarin sprang forward. 

" Madame," said he, "if I dared in my turn advise " 

" Would it be to give up Broussel, sir? If so, you can 
spare yourself the trouble." 

" No," said Mazarin; "although, perhaps, that is as good 
a counsel as any other." 

" Then what may it be?" 

" To call for Monsieur le Coadjuteur." 

" And hold, madame," suggested Comminges, who was 
near a window, out of which he could see; "hold, the mo 
ment is a happy one, for there he is now giving his blessing 
in the square of the Palais Koyal." 

The queen sprang to the window. 

"It is true," she said; " the arch -hypocrite! see!" 

"I see," said Mazarin, "that everybody kneels before him, 
although he be but coadjutor, while I were I in his place 
though I be cardinal, should be torn to pieces. I persist, 
then, madame, in my wish "(he laid an emphasis on the 
word) "that your majesty should receive the coadjutor." 

"And wherefore say you not, like the rest, your will?" 
replied the queen, in a low voice. 

Marazin bowed. 

(< Monsieur le Marechal," said the queen, after a moment's 
reflection, "go and find the coadjutor, and bring him to me." 

"And what shall I say to the people?" 

" They must have patience," said Anne, " as I have." 

The marechal bowed and went out; and, during his 
absence, Anne of Austria approached Commiuges. and con 
versed with him in a subdued tone, while Mazsirin glanced 
uneasily at the corner occupied by D'Artagnan and Porthos. 
Ere long the door opened, and the marechal entered, followed 
by the coadjutor. 

" There, madame," he said, " is Monsieur Gondy, who 
hastens to obey your majesty's summons." 

The queen advanced a few steps to meet him, and then 
stopped, cold, severe, and unmoved, and her lower lip scorn 
fully projected. Gondy bowed respectfully. 

" Well, sir," said the queen, " what is your opinion of this 
riot?" 

" That it is no longer a riot, madame," he replied, " but a 
revolt." 



T\VENTY YEARS AFTER. 277 

"The revolt is in those who think that my people can re 
volt," cried Anne, unable to dissimulate before the coadjutor, 
wnom she looked upon and perhaps with reason as the pro 
moter of the tumult. "Bevolt! thus it is called by those 
who have wished for this demonstration, and who are, per 
haps, the cause of it; but wait, wait! the king's authority 
will put it all to rights." 

"Was it to tell me that, madame," coldly replied Gondy, 
"that your majesty admitted me to the honor of entering your 
presence?" 

"No, my dear coadjutor," said Mazarin; "it was to ask 
your advice in the unhappy dilemma in which we find our 
selves. " 

"Is it true?" asked Gondy, feigning astonishment, "that 
her majesty summoned me to ask my opinion?" 

"Yes," said the queen, "it was requested." 

The coadjutor bowed. 

" Your majesty wishes Lhen " 

" You to say what you would do in her place," Mazarin 
hastened to reply. 

The coadjutor looked at the queen, who replied by a sign in 
the affirmative. 

" Were I in her majesty's place," said Gondy coldly, " I 
should not hesitate. I should release Broussel." 

" And if I do not give him up, what think you will be the 
result?" exclaimed the queen. 

"I believe that not a stone in Paris will remain unturned," 
said the marechal. 

" It was not your opinion that I asked," said the queen, 
sharply, without even turning round. 

"If it is I whom your majesty interrogates," replied the 
coadjutor, in the same calm manner, "I reply that I hold 
Monsieur le Marechal's opinion in every respect." 

The color mounted to the queen's face: her fine blue eyes 
seemed to start out of her head, and her carmine lips, corn- 
pared by all the poets of the day to a pomegranate in flower, 
were white, and trembling with auger. Mazarin himself, who 
was well accustomed to the domestic outbreaks of this dis 
turbed household, was alarmed. 

"Give up Broussel!" she cried; "a good counsel, indeed. 
Upon my word! one can easily see that it comes from a 
"priest." 

Gondy remained firm; and the abuse of the day seemed to 
glide over his head as the sarcasms of the evening before hud 
done; but hatred and revenge were accumulating in the depth 
of his heart, eilentlv- and drop by drop. 



278 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Madame," he said, "if the opinion I have submitted to 
you does not please you, it is doubtless because you have 
better counsels to follow. I know too well the wisdom of the 
queen, and that of her adviser, to suppose that they will leave 
the capital long in trouble that might lead to a revolution." 

" Thus, then, it is your opinion/' said Anne of Austria, 
with a sneer, and biting her lips with rage, " that yesterday's 
riot, which, as to-day, is already a rebellion, to-morrow might 
become a revolution." 

" Yes, madame," replied the coadjutor gravely. 

" But, if I believe you, sir, the people seem to have thrown 
off all restraint." 

" It is a bad year for kings," said Gondy, shaking his head; 
" look at England, madame." 

"Yes; but fortunately we have no Oliver Cromwell in 
France," replied the queen. 

"Who knows?" said Gondy; " these men are like thunder 
bolts one recognizes them only when they have struck." 

Every one shuddered; and there was a moment of silence, 
during which the queen pressed her hand to her side, evi 
dently to still the beatings of her heart. At last she made a 
sign for every one, except Mazarin, to quit the room; and 
Gondy bowed, as if to leave with the rest. 

" Stay, sir," said Anne to him. 

"Good," thought Gondy, "she is going to yield." 

." She is going to have him killed," said D'Artagnau to 
Porthos, "but at all events, it shall not be by me. I swear to 
heaven, on the contrary, that if they fall upon him, I will fall 
upon them." 

" And I too," said Porthos. 

" Good," muttered Mazarin, sitting down, " we shall see 
something fresh." 

The queen's eyes followed the retreating figures, and, when 
the last had closed the door, she turned away. It was evi 
dent that she was making unnatural efforts to subdue her 
anger; she fanned herself, smelled at her vinaigrette, and 
walked up and down. Gondy, who began to feel uneasy, 
examined the tapestry with his eyes, touched the coat of mail 
which he wore under his long gown, and felt from time to 
time to see if the handle of a good Spanish dagger, which 
was hidden under his cloak, was well within reach of his 
hand. 

"And now," at last said the queen, "now that we are 
alone, repeat your counsel, Monsieur le Coadjuteur." 

" It is this, madame; that you should appear to have re- 



TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 279 

fleeted, and publicly acknowledge an error which consti 
tutes the strength of a strong government release Broussel 
from prison, and give him back to the people." 

"Oh!" cried Anne, "to humble myself thus! Am I, or 
am I not, the queen? This screaming mob, are they, or are 
they not, my subjects? Have I friends? Have I guards? 
Ah! by N6tre Dame! as Queen Catherine used to say," con 
tinued she, excited by her own words, "rather than give up 
this infamous Broussel to them, I will strangle him with my 
own hands." 

And she sprang toward Gondy, whom assuredly at that mo 
ment she hated more than Broussel, with outstretched arms. 
The coadjutor remained immovable, and not a muscle of his 
face was discomposed: only his glance flashed like a sword, in 
returning the furious looks of the queen. 

" He were a dead man," said the Gascon, " if there were 
still a Vitry at the court, and if Vitry entered at this 
moment; but for my part, before he could reach the good 
prelate, I would kill Vitry at-once; the cardinal would be in 
finitely pleased with me." 

" Hush!" said Porthos, "and listen." 

" Madame," cried the cardinal, seizing hold of Anne, and 
drawing her back " madame, what are you about?" 

Then he added in Spanish, "Anne, are you mad? You a 
queen and quarreling thus like a shopwoman! And do you 
not perceive that in the person of this priest is represented 
the whole people of Paris, and that it is dangerous to insult 
him at this moment, and that if this priest wished it, in an 
hour you would be without a crown? Come, then, on another 
occasion you can be firm "and strong; but to-day is not the 
proper time; to-day, you must flatter and caress, or you will 
be but an ordinary person." 

This rough appeal, marked by the eloquence which charac 
terized Mazarin when he spoke in Italian or Spanish, and 
which he lost entirely in speaking French, was uttered with 
such impenetrable expression that Gondy, clever physiogno 
mist as he was, had no suspicion of its being more than a 
simple warning to be more subdued. 

The queen, on her part, thus chided, softened immediately 
and sat down, and in an almost weeping voice, letting her 
arms fall by her sides, said: 

"Pardon me, sir, and attribute this violence to what I suf 
fer. A woman, and, consequently, subject to the weaknesses 
of my sex, I am alarmed at the idea of civil war; a queen 
and accustomed to be obeyed I am excited at the first 
opposition." 



280 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Madame," replied Gondy, bowing, "your majesty is mis 
taken in qualifying my sincere advice as opposition. Your 
majesty has none but submissive and respectful subjects. It 
is not the queen with whom the people are displeased; they 
ask for Broussel, and are only too happy, if you release him 
to them, to live under your government." 

Mazarin, who at the words " It is not the queen with whom 
the people are displeased/' had pricked up his ears, thought 
that the coadjutor was about to speak of the cries, " Down 
with Mazarin!" and pleased with Gondy's suppression of this 
fact, he said, with his sweetest voice, and his most gracious 
expression: 

" Madame, believe the coadjutor, who is one of the most 
able politicians that we have; the first vacant cardinal's hat 
seems to belong to his noble head." 

"Ah! how much you have need of me, cunning rogue," 
thought Gondy. 

"And what will he promise us?" said D'Artagnan. 
" Peste, if he is giving away hats like that, Porthos, let us 
look out, and each ask a regiment to-morrow. Corlleu, let 
the civil war last but one year, and I will have a constable's 
sword gilt for me." 

"And for me?" said Porthos. 

"For you! I will give you the baton of the Marechal de 
la Meillerarie, who does not seem to be much in favor just 
now." 

" And so, sir," said the queen, " you are seriously afraid of 
a public tumult?" 

"Seriously," said Gondy, astonished at not having further 
Advanced; " I fear that when the torrent has broken down 
its embankment it will cause fearful destruction." 

" And I," said the queen, " think that in such a case new 
embankments must be raised to oppose it. Go I will 
reflect." 

Gondy looked at Mazarin, astonished, and Mazarin ap- 

E reached the queen to speak to her, but at this moment a 
rightful tumult arose from the square of the Palais Royal. 

Gondy smiled, the queen's color rose, and Mazarin became 
very pale. 

" What is that again?" he asked. 

At this moment Comminges rushed into the room. 

" Pardon, your majesty," he cried, " but the people have 
dashed the sentinels against the gates, and they are now forc 
ing the doors; what are your commands for time presses." 

"How many men have you about at the Palace Royal?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 281 

" Six hundred men." 

" Place a hundred men round the king, and with the re 
mainder sweep away this mob for me." 

" Madame," cried Mazariu, " what are you about?" 

" Go," said the queen. 

At this moment a terrible crash was heard. One of the 
gates began to yield. 

" Oh! madame," cried Mazarin, " you have lost us all; the 
king, yourself, and me." 

At this cry from the soul of the frightened cardinal, Anne 
became alarmed in her turn, and would have recalled Com- 
minges. 

" It is too late!" said Mazarin, tearing his hair, " too late!*' 

The gate had given way, and shouts were heard from the 
mob. D'Artagnau put his hand to his sword, motioning to 
Porthos to follow his example. 

" Save the queen!" cried Mazarin to the coadjutor. 

Gondy sprang to the window and threw it open; he recog 
nized Louvieres at the head of a troop of about three or 
four thousand men. 

" Not a step further," he shouted, " the queen is signing!" 

" What are you saying?" asked the queen. 

"The truth, madame," said Mazarin, placing a pen and a 
paper before her; " you must;" then he added, " Sign, Anne, 
I implore you I command you." 

The queen fell into a chair, took the pen and signed. 

The people, kept back by Louvieres, had not made an 
other step forward; but the awful murmuring, which indi 
cates an angry people, continued. 

The queen had written, "The keeper of the prison of St. 
Germain will put Counsellor Broussel at liberty;" and she 
had signed it. 

The coadjutor, whose eyes devoured her slightest move 
ments, seized the paper immediately the signature had been 
affixed to it, returned to the window and waved it in his 
hand. 

" This is the order," he said. 

All Paris seemed to shout for joy; and then the air re 
sounded with the cries of "Long live Broussel!" "Long 
live the coadjutor!" 

" Long live the queen!" cried De Gondy: but the cries 
which replied to his were poor and few; and perhaps he 
had but uttered it to make Anne of Austria sensible of her 
weakness. 

" And now that you have obtained what you want, go," 
said she, "Monsieur de Gondy." 



282 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Whenever her majesty has need of me," replied the 
coadjutor, bowing, " her majesty knows that I am at her 
command." 

"Ah, cursed priest!" cried Anne, when he had retired, 
stretching out her arm to the scarcely closed door, " one day 
I will make you drink the remains of the gall which you 
have poured out on me to-day." 

Mazarin wished to approach her. "Leave me!" she ex 
claimed; "you are not a man!" and she went out of the 
room. 

" It is you who are not a woman," muttered Mazarin. 

Then, after a moment of reverie, he remembered where he 
had left D'Artagnan and Porthos, and that they must have 
overheard everything. He knit his brows and went direct to 
the tapestry, which he pushed aside. The closet was empty. 

At the queen's last word D'Artagnan had dragged Porthos 
into the gallery. Thither Mazarin went in his turn, and 
found the two friends walking up and down. 

" Why did you leave the closet, Monsieur D'Artagnan?" 
said the cardinal. 

" Because," said D'Artagnan, " the queen desired every 
one to leave, and I thought that this command was intended 
for us as well as for the rest." 

"And you have been here since " 

"About a quarter of an hour," said D'Artagnan, motion 
ing to Porthos not to contradict him. 

Mazarin saw the sign, and remained convinced that D'Ar- 
tagnau had seen and heard everything; but he was pleased 
with his falsehood. 

"Decidedly, Monsieur D'Artagnan, you are the man I 
have been seeking and you may reckon upon me, as may 
your friend, too." 

Then, bowing to the two friends, with his most gracious 
smile, he re-entered his closet more calmly, for on the depart 
ure of De Gondy, the uproar had ceased as if by enchant 
ment. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

MISFORTUNE REFRESHES THE MEMORY. 

OF AUSTRIA returned to her oratory furious. 
" What!" she cried, wringing her beautiful hands, " whatl 
the people have seen Monsieur de Conde, a prince of the blood 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 283 

royal, arrested by my mother-in-law, Maria de Medicis; they 
saw my mother-in-law, their former regent, expelled by the 
cardinal; they saw Monsieur de Ven'ddme, that is to say, the 
sou of Henry IV., a prisoner at Vincennes; and while these 
great personages were imprisoned, insulted and threatened, 
they said nothing; and now fora Broussel! good God what 
then is become of royalty!" 

The queen unconsciously touched here upon the exciting 
question. The people had made no demonstration for the 
princes, but they had risen for Broussel; they were taking 
the part of a plebeian, and in defending Broussel, they in 
stinctively felt that they were defending themselves. 

During this time Mazarin walked up and down his study, 
glancing from time to time at his beautiful Venetian mirror, 
starred all over. " Ah!" he said, "it is sad, I know well, to 
be forced to yield thus; but pshaw we shall have our re 
venge; what matters it about Broussel it is a name, not 
a thing." 

Mazarin, clever politician as he was, was for once mistaken; 
Broussel was a thing, not a name. 

The next morning, therefore, when Broussel made his en 
trance into Paris in a large carriage, having his son Louvieres 
at his side, and Friquet behind the vehicle, the people threw 
themselves in his way, and cries of "Long live Broussel!" 
"Long live our father!" resounded from all parts, and was 
death to Mazarin's ears; and the cardinal's spies brought bad 
news from every direction, which greatly agitated the minis 
ter, but were calmly received by the quoen. The latter seemed 
to be maturing in her mind some great stroke a fact which 
increased the uneasiness of the cardinal, who knew the proud 
princess, and who dreaded much the determination of Anne 
of Austria. 

The coadjutor returned to parliament more a monarch than 
the king, queen, and the cardinal were, all three together. By 
his advice, a decree from parliament had summoned the citi 
zens to lay down their arms, and to demolish the barricades. 
They now knew that it required but one hour to take up arms 
again, and only one night to reconstruct the barricades. 

D'Artagnan profited by a moment of calm to send away 
Raoul, whom he had had great difficulty in keeping shut up 
during the riot, and who wished positively to strike a blow 
for one party or the other. Eaoul had offered some opposition 
at first; but D'Artagnan made use of the Count de la Fare's 
name, and, after paying a visit to Madame de Chevreuse, 
Baoul started to rejoin the army. 



284 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Rochefort alone was dissatisfied with the termination of 
affairs. He had written to the Due de Beaufort to come, and 
the duke was about to arrive, and he would find Paris tran 
quil. He went to the coadjutor to consult with him whether 
it were not better to send word to the duke to stop on the 
road, but Gondy reflected a moment, and then said: 

' Let him continue his journey." 
But all is not then over?" asked Rochefort. 

' Good, my dear count; we have only just begun." 

' What induces you to think so?" 

* The knowledge that I have of the queen's heart; she will 
not rest beaten." 

Come, let us see what you know." 

1 know that she has written to the prince to return in 
haste from the army." 

" Ah, ah!" said Rochefort, "you are right. We must let 
Monsieur de Beaufort come." 

In fact, the evening after this conversation, the report was 
circulated that the Prince Conde had arrived. It was a very 
simple and natural circumstance, and yet it created a great 
sensation. It was said that Madame de Longueville, for whom 
the prince had more than a brother's affection, and in whom 
he had confided, had been indiscreet. His confidence 
had unveiled the sinister projects of the queen. 

Even on the night of the prince's return, some citizens, 
more bold than the rest, such as the sheriffs, the captains, 
and the quartermaster, went from house to house among their 
friends, saying: 

"Why do we not take the king, and place him in theHotel 
de Ville? It is a shame to leave him to be educated by our 
enemies, who will give him evil counsels; whereas, brought up 
by the coadjutor, for instance, he would imbibe national 
principles, and love his people." 

That night was secretly agitated, and on the morrow the 
gray and black cloaks, the patrols of armed shop-people, and 
the bauds of mendicants had reappeared. 

The queen had passed the night in conference alone with 
the prince, who had entered her oratory at midnight, and did 
not leave till five o'clock in the morning. 

At five o'clock Anne went to the cardinal's room. If she 
had not yet taken any repose, he at least was already up. Six 
days had already passed out of the ten he had asked from 
Mordaunt; he was therefore occupied in correcting his reply 
to Cromwell, when some one knocked gently at the door of 
communication with the queen's apartments. Anne of 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 285 

Austria alone was permitted to enter by that door. The car 
dinal therefore rose to open it. 

The queen was in a morning gown, but it became her still; 
for, like Diana of Poictiers and tNinon, Anne of Austria 
enjoyed the privilege of remaining ever beautiful; neverthe 
less, this morning she looked handsomer than usual, for her 
eyes had all the sparkle which inward satisfaction added to 
their expression. 

"W,hat is the matter, madame?" said Mazariu uneasily. 
" You have quite a proud look." 

"Yes, Giulio," she said, "prond and happy; for I have 
found the means of stifling this hydra." 

"You are a great politician, my queen," said Mazarin; 
" let us see the means." And he hid what he had written by 
sliding the letter under a sheet of white paper. 

" You know," said the queen, " that they want to take the 
king away from me.'' 

" Alas! yes, and to hang me!" 

" They shall not have the king." 

"Nor hang me." 

" Listen. I want to carry off my son from them with 
yourself and myself. I, wish that this event, which, on the 
day it is known, will completely change the aspect of affairs, 
should be accomplished without the knowledge of any others 
but yourself, myself, and a third person." 

"And who is the third person?" 

" Monsieur le Prince." 

"And you have seen him?" 

"He has just left me." 

" And will he aid this project?" 

" The plan is his own." 

"And Paris?" 

"He will starve it out and force it to surrender at dis 
cretion." 

" The plan is wanting not in grandeur, but I only see one 
impediment to it." 

" What is it?" 

" Impossibility." 

"A senseless word; nothing is impossible. Have we 
money ?" 

" A little," said Mazariu, trembling lest Anne should ask to 
draw upon his purse. 

" Have we troops?" 

" Five or six thousand men." 

"Have we courage?" 



286 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Much." 

"Then the thing is easy. Oh! do think of it, Ginlio! 
Paris, this odious Paris, awaking one morning without queen 
or king, surrounded, besieged, famished having, as an only 
resource, its stupid parliament, and their coadjutor, with 
crooked limbs!" 

"Charming! charming!" said Mazarin. "I see the effect, 
but I do not see the way to obtain it." 

" I will find it out myself." 

" You are aware that it will be war civil war furious, 
burning, anc? implacable?" 

"Oh! yes, yes. War," said Anne of Austria. "Yes, I 
will reduce this r bel'ious city to ashes. I will extinguish 
the fire by blood. I will perpetuate the crime and the punish 
ment by making a frightful example. Paris! I hate it! I 
detect it!" 

" Very fine, Anne. You are now sanguinary; but take 
care. We are not in the time of the Malattesta and the 
Castrucio Castracani. You will get yourself decapitated, my 
beautiful queen, and that would be a pity." 

" You laugh." 

"Faintly. It is dangerous to go to war with a whole 
nation. Look at your brother monarch, Charles I. He in 
badly off very badly." 

"We are in France, and I am Spanish." 

" So much the worse; I would much rather you were 
French, and myself also they would hate us both less." 

"Nevertheless, you consent?" 

" Yes, if the thing be possible." 

" It is; it is I who tell you so; make your preparations for 
departure." 

"I! I am always prepared to go, only you know I never 
do go and, perhaps, shall do this time as little as before." 

" In short, if I go, will you go too?" 

" I shall try." 

" You torment me, Giulio, with your fears; and what are 
you afraid of, then?" 

" Of many things." 

" What are they?" 

Mazarin's face, smiling as it was, became clouded. 

" Anne," said he, " you are but a woman, and as a woman 
you may insult men at your ease, knowing that you can do it 
with impunity; you accuse me of fear; I have not so much 
as you have, since I do not fly as you do. Against whom do 
they cry out? is it against you, or against myself? Whom 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 28? 

would they hang yourself or me? Well, I can weather the 
storm; I whom, notwithstanding you tax with fear not 
with bravado, that is not my way, but I am firm. Imitate 
me; make less noise, and do more. You cry very loud, you 
end by doing nothing; you talk of flying " 

Mazarin shrugged his shoulders, and taking the queen's 
hand, led her to a window. 

"Look!" he said. 

" Well?" said the queen, blinded by her obstinacy. 

" Well, what do you see from this window? If I am not 
mistaken, those are citizens, he! meted and mailed, armed with 
good muskets, as in the time of the League, and whose eyes 
are so intently fixed on this window, that they will see you if 
you raise that curtain much; and now come to the other side 
what do you see? Creatures of the people, armed with 
the halberds, guarding your doors. You will see the same at 
every opening from this palace to which I should lead you. 
Your doors are guarded, the air-holes of your cellars are 
guarded, and I could say to you, as that good La Ramee said 
to me of the Due de Beaufort, you must be either bird or 
mouse to get out." 

" He did get out, however." 

" Do you think of escaping in the same way?" 

" I am a prisoner, then?" 

" ParUeu !" said Mazarin, " I have been proving it to you 
this last hour." 

And he quietly resumed his despatch at the place where he 
had been interrupted. 

Anne, trembling with anger, and red with humiliation, 
left the room, shutting the door, violently after her. Mazarin 
did not even turn round. When once more in her own apart 
ment, Anne fell into a chair and wept; then, suddenly struck 
with an idea: 

"I am saved!" she exclaimed, rising; "oh, yes, yes! I 
know a man who will find the means of taking me from 
Paris; a man whom I have too long forgotten." Then, 
falling into a reverie, she added, however, with an expres 
sion of joy, " Ungrateful woman that I am, for twenty 
years I have forgotten this man, whom I ought to have made 
marechal of France. My mother-in-law expended gold, 
caresses, and dignities on Concini, who ruined her; the king 
made Vitry marechal of France for an assassination; while I 
have left in obscurity, in poverty, that noble D'Artagnan, who 
saved me." 

And running to a table, upon which were placed paper and 
ink, she began to write. 



288 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

CHAPTER XLVIIL 

THE INTERVIEW. 

IT HAD been D'Artagnan's practice, ever since the riots, to 
sleep in the same room as Forth os, and on this eventful 
morning he was still there, sleeping, and dreaming that a 
large yellow cloud had overspread the sky, and was raining 
gold pieces into his hat, while he held it under a spout. As 
for Porthos, he dreamed that the panels of his carriage were 
not spacious enough to contain the armorial bearings which 
he had ordered to be painted upon them. They were both 
aroused at seven o'clock by the entrance of an unliveried 
servant, who had brought a letter to D'Artagnan. 

" From whom is it? asked the Gascon. 

" From the queen," replied the servant. 

"Ho!" said Porthos, raising himself in his bed, "what 
does she say?" 

D'Artagnan requested the servant to wait in the next room, 
and when the door was closed, he sprung up from his bed, 
und read rapidly, while Porthos looked at him with starting 
eyes, not daring to ask a single question. 

" Friend Porthos/ said D'Artagnan, handing the letter to 
him, " this time, at least, you are sure of your title of baron, 
and I of my captaincy. There, read and judge." 

Porthos took the letter, and with a trembling voice read 
the following words: 

" The queen wishes to speak to Monsieur d'Artagnan, who 
must follow the bearer." 

"Well!" exclaimed Porthos, " I see nothing in that very 
extraordinary." 

" But I see much that is extraordinary in it," replied 
D'Artagnan. " It is evident, by their sending for me, that 
matters are becoming complicated. Just reflect a little what 
an agitation the queen's mind must be in, for her to have re 
membered me after twenty years." 

" It is true," said Porthos. 

" Sharpen your sword, baron, load your pistols, and give 
some corn to the horses, for I will answer for it, something 
new will happen before to-morrow." 

" But stop; do you think it can be a trap that they are lay 
ing for us?" suggested Porthos, incessantly thinking how his 
greatness must be irksome to other people. 

" If it is a snare," replied D'Artagnan, " I shall scent it 
out, be assured. If Mazarin be an Italian, I am a Gascon." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 289 

And D'Artagnan dressed himself in an instant. 

While Porthos, still in bed, was hooking on his cloak for 
him, a second knock at the door was heard. 

" Come in," cried D'Artagnan; and another servant 
entered. 

" From his eminence, Cardinal Mazarin,"he said, present 
ing a letter. 

D'Artaguan glanced at Porthos, and said ; 

"It is arranged capitally; his eminence expects me in half 
an hour." 

"Good." 

" My friend," said D'Artagnan, turning to the servant, 
" tell his eminence that in half an hour I shall be at his 
command." 

" It is very fortunate, "resumed the Gascon, when the valet 
had retired, " that he did not meet the other one." 

" Do you not think that they have sent for you, both for 
the same thing?" 

" I do not think it, I am certain of it." 

" Quick, quick, D'Artagnan. Kemember that the queen 
awaits you; and after the queen, the cardinal; and after the 
cardinal, myself." 

D'Artagnan summoned Anne of Austria's servant, and 
answered that he was ready to follow him. 

The servant conducted him by the Rue des Petits-Champs, 
and turning to the left, entered the little garden gate leading 
into the Rue Richelieu; then they gained the private stair 
case, and D' Artrgnan was ushered into the oratory. A certain 
emotion, for w'^ich he could not account, made the lieuten 
ant's heart beao: he had no longer the assurance of youth, 
and experience taught him all the importance of past events. 
Formerly, he would have approached the queen, as a young 
man, who bends before a woman; but now it was a different 
thing: he answered her summons as an humble soldier 
obeys an illustrious general. 

The silence of the oratory was at last disturbed by a slight 
rustling sound, and D'Artagnan started when he perceived 
the tapestry raised by a white hand, which, by its form, its 
color, and its beauty, he recognized as that royal hand 
which had one day been presented to him to kiss. The 
queen entered. 

" It is you, Monsieur D'Artagnan," she said, fixing a gaze 
full of melancholy interest on the countenance of the officer, 
*' and I know you well. Look at me well in your turn. I 
am the queen; do you recognize me?" 
13 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



290 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" No, madame," replied D'Artagnan. 

" But are you no longer aware," continued Anne, giving 
that sweet expression to her voice which she could do at will, 
" that in former days the queen had once need of a young, 
brave, and devoted cavalier; that she found this cavalier; 
and that although he might have thought that she had 
forgotten him, she had kept a place for him in the depths of 
her heart." 

"No, madame, I was ignorantof that," said the musketeer. 

" So much the worse, sir/' said Anne of Austria, " so 
much the worse, at least for the queen; for to-day she has 
need of the same courage, and of that same devotion." 

" What!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, "does the queen, sur 
rounded as she is by such devoted servants, such wise counsel 
lors, men, in short, so great by their merit or their position 
does she deign to cast her eyes on an obscure soldier?" 

Anne understood this covert reproach, and was more 
moved than irritated by it. She had many a time felt humili 
ated by the self-sacrifice and disinterestedness shown by the 
Gascon gentleman, and she had allowed herself to be exceeded 
in generosity, 

tf All that you tell me of those by whom I am surrounded, 
Monsieur D'Artagnan, is doubtless true," said the queen, 
" but I have confidence in you alone. I know that you be 
long to the cardinal but belong to me as well and I will 
take upon myself the making of your fortune. Come, will 
you do to-day what formerly the gentleman whom you do not 
know did for the queen?" 

"I will do everything which your majesty commands," re 
plied D'Artagnan. 

The queen reflected for a moment, and then, seeing the 
cautious demeanor of the musketeer. 

" Perhaps you like repose?" she said. 

"I do not know, for I have never had it, madame." 

" Have you any friends?" 

" I had three, two of whom have left Paris, to go I know 
not where. One alone is left to me, but he is one of those 
known, I believe, to the cavalier, of whom your majesty did 
me the honor to speak to me." 

" Very good," said the queen, " you and your friend are 
worth an army." 

"What am I to do, madame?" 

"Keturn at five o'clock, and I will tell you: but do not 
breathe to a living soul, sir, the rendezvous which I give you." 

" No, madame." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 291 

"Swear it by Christ." 

'* Madame, I have never been false to my word when I 
say no, it means no." 

The queen, although astonished at this language, to which 
she was not accustomed from her courtiers, argued from it a 
happy omen of the zeal with which D'Artagnan would serve 
her in the accomplishment of her project. It was one of the 
Gascon's artifices to hide his deep cunning occasionally under 
an appearance of rough loyalty. 

" Has the queen any further commands for me now?" 
asked D'Artagnan. 

" No, sir," replied Anne of Austria, " and you may retire 
until the time that I mentioned to you." 

D'Artagnan bowed and went out. 

" Diable !" he exclaimed, when the door was shut, "they 
seem to have great need of me here." 

Then, as the half hour had already glided by, he crossed 
the gallery, and knocked at the cardinal's door. 

"I come for your commands, my lord," he said. 

And according to his custom, D'Artagnan glanced rapidly 
round him, and remarked that Mazarin had a sealed letter 
before him. 

" You come from the queen?" said Mazarin, looking fixedly 
at D'Artagnan. 

"I! my lord, who told you that!" 

"Nobody, but I know it." 

" I regret, infinitely, to tell you, my lord, that you are 
mistaken," replied the Gascon impudently, firm to the 
promise he had just made to Anne of Austria. 

" I opened the door of the anteroom myself, and I saw you 
enter at the end of the corridor." 

" Because I was shown up the private stairs." 

" How so?" 

" I know not, it must have been a mistake." 

Mazarin was aware that it was not easy to make D'Artagnan 
reveal anything which he was desirous of hiding, so he there 
fore gave up, for the time, the discovery of the mystery 
which the Gascon made. 

"Let us speak of my affairs," said Mazarin, "since you 
will tell me naught of yours. Are you fond of traveling?" 

" My life has been passed on the highroads." 

" Would anything retain you particularly in Paris?" 

"Nothing but an order from a superior would retain mein 
Paris." 

" Very well. Here is a letter which must be taken to its 
address." 



292 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" To its address, my lord? But it has none." 

" I regret to say," resumed Mazarin, " that it is in a 
double envelope." 

"I understand; and I am only to take off the first one 
when I have reached a certain place?" 

"Just so take it and go. You have a friend, Monsieur 
de Valon, whom I like much; let him accompany you." 

"The devil!" said D'Artagnan to himself. "He knows 
that we overheard his conversation yesterday, and he wants to 
get us away from Paris." 

" Do you hesitate?" asked Mazarin. 

" No, my lord, and I will set out at once. There is one 
thing only which I must request." 

" What is it? speak." 

" That your eminence will at once go to the queen." 

" What"for?" 

" Merely to say these words: * I am going to send Monsieur 
D'Artagnan away, and I wish him to set out directly. " J 

" I told you," said Mazarin, " that you had seen the queen." 

" I had the honor of saying to your eminence that there 
had been some mistake." 

"Very well; I will go. Wait here for me." And looking 
attentively around him, to see if he had forgotten any keys in 
his closets, Mazarin went out. Ten minutes elapsed ere he 
returned, pale and evidently thoughtful. He seated himself 
at his desk, and D'Artagnan proceeded to examine his face;, 
as he had just examined the letter he held; but the envelope 
which covered his countenance was almost as impenetrable as 
that which covered the letter. 

"Eh! eh!" thought the Gascon; "he looks displeased. 
Can it be with me? He meditates. Is it about sending me 
to the Bastille? All very fine, my lord; but at the very first 
hint you give of such a thing, ' I will strangle you and become 
Frondist.' I should be carried in triumph like Monsieur 
Broussel, and Athos would proclaim me the French Brutus. 
It would be droll." 

The Gascon, with his vivid imagination, had already seen 
the advantage to be derived from his situation; Mazarin gave, 
however, no order of the kind, but, on the contrary, began 
to be insinuating. 

" You were right," he said, " my dear Monsieur D'Artag 
nan, and you cannot set out yet. I beg you to return me 
that dispatch." 

D'Artagnan obeyed, and Mazarin ascertained that the seal 
was intact. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 293 

"I shall want you this evening," he said. "Return in 
two hours." 

" My lord," said D'Artagnan, "I have an appointment in 
two hours, which I cannot miss." 

" Do not be uneasy," said Mazarin; " it is the same." 

" Good!" thought D'Artagnan; " I fancied it was so." 

" Return then at five o'clock, and bring that worthy Mon 
sieur de Valon with you. Only, leave him in the anteroom, 
as I wish to speak to you alone." 

D'Artagnan bowed, and thought "Both at the same hour; 
both commands alike both at the Palais Royal. I guess. 
Ah! Monsieur de Goudy would pay a hundred thousand francs 
for such a secret!" 

" You are thoughtful," said Mazarin uneasily. 

" Yes; I was thinking whether we ought to come armed or 
not." 

"Armed to the teeth!" replied Mazarin. 

" Very well, my lord, it shall be so." 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

THE FLIGHT. 

WHEN D'Artagnan returned to the Palais Royal at fbe 
o'clock, it presented, in spite of the excitement which reigned 
in the town, a spectacle of the greatest rejoicing. Nor was 
that surprising. The queen had restored Broussel and 
Blancmesnil to the people, and had therefore nothing to fear, 
since the people had nothing more to ask for. The return 
also of the conquerer of Lens was the pretext for giving a 
grand banquet. The princes and princesses were invited, and 
their carriages had crowded the court since noon; then after 
dinner the queen was to form her poole of quadrille. Anne 
of Austria had never appeared more brilliant than on that 
day radiant with grace and wit. Mazarin disappeared as 
they rose from table. He found D'Artagnan waiting for him 
already at his post in the anteroom. The cardinal advanced 
to him with a smile, and taking him by the hand, led him 
into his study. 

" My dear Monson D'Artagnan," said the minister, sitting 
down, " I am about to give you the greatest proof of confi 
dence that a minister can give to an officer." 

" I hope," said D'Artagnan bowing, " that you give it, my 
lord, without hesitation, and with the conviction that I am 
worthy of it." 



294 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" More worthy than every one, my dear friend; therefore I 
apply to you. You are about to leave this evening," con 
tinued Mazarin. " My dear Monson d'Artagnan, the welfare 
of the state is reposed in your hand." He paused. 

"Explain yourself, my lord; I am listening." 

"The queen has resolved to make a little excursion with 
the king to St. Germain." 

"Ah! ah!" said D'Artagnan, "that is to say, the queen 
wishes to leave Paris." 

"A woman's caprice you understand." 

" Yes, I understand perfectly," said D'Artagnan. 

" It was for this that she summoned you this morning and 
that she told you to return at five o'clock." 

" Was it worth while to wish me to swear this morning that 
I would mention the appointment to no one?" muttered 
D'Artagnan. "Oh, women! women! whether queens or not, 
they are always the same." 

" Do you disapprove of -this journey, my dear Mouson 
d'Artagnan?" asked Mazarin anxiously. 

" I, my lord?" said D'Artagnan; " and why?" 

" Because you shrug your shoulders." 

" It is a way I have of speaking to myself. I neither 
approve nor disapprove, my lord; I merely await jour com 
mands." 

" Good; it is you, therefore, that I have pitched upon to 
conduct the king and the queen to St. Germain." 

" Liar!" said D'Artagnan to himself. 

"You see, therefore," continued Mazarin, perceiving 
D'Artagnan's composure, " that, as I have told you, the 
welfare of the state is placed in your hands." 

" Yes, my lord, and I feel the whole responsibility of such 
a charge." 

"Do you think the thing possible?" 

"Everything is." 

" Shall you be attacked on the road?" 

" Probably." 

" And what would you do in that case?" 

" 1 shall pass through those who attack me." 

"And suppose you cannot pass through them?** 

" So much the worse for them. I must pass over them." 

" And you will place the king and queen safe also and at 
St. Germain?" 

"Yes." 

" On your life." 

" On my life." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 295 

"You are a hero, my friend," said Mazarin, gazing at the 
musketeer with admiration. 

D'Artagnan smiled. 

"And I?" asked Mazarin, after a moment's silence. 

" How? and you, my lord?" 

" If I wish to leave?" 

" That would be more difficult." 

"Why so?" 

" Your eminence might be recognized." 

" Even under this disguise?" asked Mazarin, raising a cloak 
which covered an armchair, upon which lay a complete dress 
for an officer, of pearl-gray and red, entirely embroidered 
with silver. 

" If your eminence is disguised, it will be more easy." 

'' Ah!" said Mazarin, breathing more freely. 

" But it will be necessary for your eminence to do what the 
other day you declared you should have done in our place 
cry ' Down with Mazariu!'" 

"" I will cry it." 

"In French in good French, my lord take care of your 
accent; they killed six thousand Angerines in Sicily, because 
they pronounced Italian badly. Take care that the French 
do not take their revenge on you for the Sicilian vespers." 

" I will do my best." 

" The streets are full of armed men," continued D'Artag 
nan. "Are you sure that no one is aware of the queen's 
project?" 

Mazarin reflected. 

"This affair would give a fine opportunity for a traitor, my 
lord; the chance of being attacked would be an excuse for 
everything." 

Mazarin shuddered; but he reflected that a man who had 
an intention to betray would not warn first. 

" And, therefore," added he quietly, " I have not confi 
dence in every one; the proof of which is, that I have fixed 
upon you to escort me." 

" Shall you not go with the queen?" 

" No," replied Mazarin. 

" Then you will start after the queen?" 

" No," said Mazarin again. 

"Ah!" said D'Artagnan, who began to understand. 

" Yes," continued the cardinal. " I have my plan: with 
the queen, I double her risk after the queen, her departure 
would double mine then, the court once safe, I might be 
forgotten; the great are often ungrateful." 



296 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Very true," said D'Artagnan, fixing his eyes, in spite of 
himself, on the queen's diamond, which Mazarin wore on his 
finger. Mazarin followed the direction of his eyes, and gently 
turned the hoop of the ring inside. 

" I wish/' he said, with his cunning smile, " to prevent 
them from being ungrateful to me." 

"It is but Christian charity," replied D'Artagnan, "not to 
lead one's neighbors into temptation." 

"It is exactly for that reason," said Mazarin, " that I wish 
to start before them." 

D'Artagnan smiled he was quite the man to understand 
the astute Italian. Mazarin saw the smile, and profited by 
the moment. 

" You will begin, therefore, by taking me first out of Paris, 
will you not, my dear Monson d'Artaguan?" 

" A difficult commission, my lord," replied D'Artagnan, 
resuming his serious manner. 

" But," said Mazarin, "you did not make so many diffi 
culties with regard to the king and queen." 

" The king and the queen are my king and queen, my 
lord," replied the musketeer, "my life is theirs, and I 
ought to give it for them. They ask it; and I have nothing 
to say." 

"That is true," murmured Mazarin, in a low tone, "but 
as thy life is not mine, I suppose I must buy it, must I not?" 
and sighing deeply, he began to turn the hoop of his ring 
outside again. D'Artagnau smiled. These two men met at 
one point, and that was, cunning; had they been actuated alike 
by courage, the one would have done great things for the 
other. 

"But also," said Mazarin, "you must understand that if I 
ask this service from you it is with the intention of being 
grateful." 

" Is it still only in intention, my lord?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Stay," said Mazarin, drawing the ring from his finger, 
" my dear Monsieur de Artagnau here is a diamond which 
belonged to you formerly, it is but just that it should return 
to you take it, I pray." 

D'Artagnau spared Mazarin the trouble of insisting, and 
after looking to see if the stone were the same, and assuring 
himself of the purity of its water, he took it, and passed it on 
to his finger with indescribable pleasure. 

" I valued it much," said Mazarin, giving a last look at it; 
"nevertheless I give it to you with great pleasure." 

"And I, my lord," said D'Artagnan, "accept it as it is 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 297 

given. Come, let us epeak of your little affairs. You wish 
to leave before everybody, and at what hour?'* 

" At ten o'clock. " 

" And the queen, at what time does she wish to start?" 

"At midnight." 

" Then it is possible. I can get yon out of Paris and leavo 
you beyond the ' barriere,' and can return for her." 

" Capital, but how will you get me out of Paris?" 

" Oh! as to that, you must leave it to me." 

"I give you full power, therefore take as large an escort as 
you like." 

D'Artagnan shook his head. 

"It seems to me, however," said Mazarin, "the safest 
method." 

" Yes, for you, my lord, but not for the queen; you must 
leave it to me, and give me the entire direction of the under 
taking." 

" Nevertheless " 

"Or find some one else/' continued D'Artagnan, turning 
his back. 

"Oh!" muttered Mazarin; "I do believe he is going off 
with the diamond!" 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan," 
he called out in a coaxing voice, " will you answer for 
everything?" 

" I will answer for nothing, I will do my best." 

" Well, then, let us go, I must trust to you." 

" It is very fortunate," said D'Artagnan to himself. 

" You will be here at half-past nine?" 

" And I shall find your eminence ready?" 

"Certainly, quite ready." 

" Well, then, it is a settled thing; and now, my lord, will 
you obtain for me an audience of the queen ?" 

"For what purpose?" 

"I wish to receive her majesty's commands from her own 
lips." 

" She desired me to give them to you." 

"She may have forgotten something." 

" You really wish to see her?" 

" It is indispensable, my lord." 

Mazarin hesitated for one instant, while D'Artaguan re 
mained firm. 

" Come, then," said the minister: " I will conduct you to 
her but remember, not one word of our conversation." 



298 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" What has passed between us concerns us alone, my lord," 
replied D'Artagnan. 

" Swear to be mute." 

" I never swear, my lord, I say yes or no; and, as I am a 
gentleman, I keep my word." 

" Come, then, I see that I must trust unreservedly to you." 

" Believe me, my lord, it will be your best plan." 

" Come," said Mazarin, conducting D'Artagnan into the 
queen's oratory, and desiring him to wait there. He did not 
wait long, for in five minutes the queen entered in full gala 
costume. Thus dressed, she scarcely appeared thirty-five 
years of age, and was still handsome. 

" It is you, Monsieur d'Artagnan," she said, smiling gra 
ciously, "I thank you for having insisted on seeing me." 

" I ought to ask your majesty's pardon; but I wished to re 
ceive your commands from your own mouth." 

" Will you accept the commission which I have entrusted 
to you?" 

" With gratitude." 

"Very well, be here at midnight." 

"I will not fail." 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan," continued the queen, "I know 
your disinterestedness too well to speak of my gratitude at this 
moment; but I swear to you that I shall not forget this second 
service as I forgot the first." 

" Your majesty is free to forget or to remember as it pleases 
you; ancl I know not what you mean," said D'Artagnan, 
bowing. 

" Go, sir," said the queen, with her most bewitching smile, 
"go and return at midnight." 

And D'Artagnan retired, but as he passed out he glanced 
at the curtain through which the queen had entered, and at 
the bottom of the tapestry he remarked the tip of a velvet 
slipper. 

" Good/' thought he; " Mazarin has been listening to dis 
cover whether I had betrayed him. In truth, that Italian 
puppet does not deserve the services of an honest man." 

D'Artagnan was not less exact to his appointment, and at 
half-past nine o'clock he entered the anteroom. 

He found the cardinal dressed as an officer, and he looked 
very well in that costume, which, as we have already said, he 
wore elegantly only he was very pale, and trembled a little. 

" Quite alone?" he asked. 

" Yes, my lord." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 299 

" And that worthy Monsieur de Valon, are we to enjoy his 
society?" 

" Certainly, my lord, he is waiting in his carriage at the 
gate of the garden of the Palais Royal." 

" And we start in his carriage then." 

"Yes, my lord." 

"And with no other escort but you two?" 

" Is it not enough? One of us would suffice." 

" Really, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan,"said the cardinal, 
"your coolness startles me." 

"I should have thought, on the contrary, that it ought to 
have inspired you with confidence." 

"And Bernouin, do I not take him with me?" 

" There is no room for him; he will rejoin your eminence/' 

" Let us go," said Mazarin, " since everything must be 
ready do you wish it?" 

"My lord, there is time to draw back," said D'Artagnan, 
"and your eminence is perfectly free." 

" Not at all, not at all," said Mazariu; " let us be off." 

And they both descended the private stair, Mazarin lean 
ing on the arm of D'Artagnan, an arm which the musketeer 
felt trembling upon his own. At last, after crossing the 
courts of the Palais Royal, where there still remained some 
of the conveyances of late guests, they entered the gar 
den and reached the little gate. Mazarin attempted to open 
it by a key which he took from his pocket, but his hand 
trembled so much that he could not find the keyhole. 

"Give it to me," said D'Artagnan, who, when the gate 
was opened, deposited the key in his pocket, reckoning upon 
returning by that means. 

The steps were already down, and the door open. Mousque- 
ton held open the door, and Porthos was inside the carriage. 

" Mount, my lord," said D'Artagnan to Mazarin, who 
sprang into the carriage without waiting for a second bidding. 
D'Artagnan followed him; and Mousqueton, having closed 
the door, mounted behind the carriage with many groans. 
He had made some difficulties about going, under pretext 
that he still suffered from his wound, but D'Artagnan had 
said to him: 

" Remain if you like, my dear Monsieur Mouston, but I 
warn you that Paris will be burned down to-night;" upon 
which Mousqueton had declared, without asking anything 
further, that he was ready to follow his master and Monsieur 
D'Artagnan to the end of the world. 

The carriage started at a measured pace, without betraying 



300 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

in the least that it contained people in a hurry. The cardi 
nal wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, and looked 
around him. On his left was Porthos, while D'Artagnan 
was on his right; each guarded a door, and served as a ram- 

Eart to him on either side. Before him, on the front seat, 
ly two pairs of pistols one before Porthos, and the other 
before D'Artagnan. About a hundred paces from the Palais 
Royal a patrol stopped the carriage. 

" Who goes?" asked the captain. 

"Mazarin!" replied D'Artagnan, bursting into a laugh. 
The cardinal's hair stood on end. But the joke appeared ex 
cellent to the citizens, who, seeing the conveyance without 
escort and unarmed, would never have believed in the reality 
of so great an imprudence. 

" A good journey to ye!" they cried, allowing it to pass. 

"Hem!" said D'Artagnan, " what does my lord think of 
that reply?" 

"Man of talenti" cried Mazarin. 

"In truth," said Porthos, "I understand; but now " 

About the middle of the Rue des Petits-Champs they were 
etopped by a second patrol. 

" Who goes there?" inquired the captain of the patrol. 

"Keep back, my lord," said D'Artagnan. And Mazarin 
buried himself so far behind the two friends that he disap 
peared, completely hidden between them. 

" Who goes there?" cried the same voice, impatiently, 
while D'Artagnan perceived that they had rushed to the 
horses' heads. But, putting his head half outof the carriage 

"Eh! Planchet," said he. 

The chief approached, and it was indeed Planchet; D'Ar 
tagnan had recognized the voice of his old servant. 

" How, sir!" said Planchet, " is it you?" 

"Eh! mon Dieu! yes, my good friend, this worthy Porthos 
has just received a sword wound, and I am taking him to his 
country house at St. Cloud." 

"Oh! really," said Planchet. 

" Porthos," said D'Artagnan, "if you can still speak, say a 
word, my dear Porthos, to this good Planchet." 

" Planchet, my friend," said Porthos, in a melancholy voice, 
"I am very ill; should you meet a doctor, you will do me a 
favor by sending him to me." 

" Oh! good heaven," said Planchet, "what a misfortune; 
and how did it happen?" 

"I will tell you all about it," replied Mousqueton. 

Porthos uttered a deep groan. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 301 

" Make way for us, Planchet," said D'Artagnan in a whis 
per to him, " or he will not arrive alive; the lungs are at 
tacked, my friend/' 

Planchet shook his head with the air of a man who says: 
" In that case, things look ill." Then he exclaimed, turning 
to his men, " Let them pass, they are friends." 

The carriage resumed its course, and Mazarin, who had 
held his breath, ventured to breathe again. 

"Bricconi!" muttered he. 

A few steps in advance of the gate of St. Honore, they met 
a third troop; this latter party was composed of ill-looking 
fellows, who resembled bandits more than anything else; they 
were the men of the beggar of St. Eustache. 

" Attention, Porthos!" cried D'Artagnan. Porthos placed 
his hand on the pistols. 

" What is it?" asked Mazarin. 

"My lord, I think we are in bad company." 

A man advanced to the door with a kind of scythe in his 
hand. 

"Eh, rascal!" said D'Artagnan, "do you not know his 
highness the prince's carriage?" 

"Prince or not," said the man, "open; we are here to 
guard the gate, and no one whom we do not know shall pass." 

" What is to be done?" said Porthos. 

" Pardieu! to pass," replied D'Artagnau. 

" But how pass?" asked Mazarin. 

" Through or over; coachman, gallop on." 

"Not a step further," said the man, who appeared to be 
the captain, " or I will hamstring your horses." 

" Peste!" said Porthos, "it would be a pity; animals which 
cost me a hundred pistoles each." 

" I will pay you two hundred for them," said Mazarin. 

"Yes, but when once they are hamstrung, our necks will 
be strung next." 

"If one of them comes to my side," asked Porthos, "must 
I kill him?" 

"Yes, by a blow of your fist, if you can; we will not fire 
but at the last extremity." 

"I can do it," said Porthos. 

"Come and open then," cried D'Artagnan to the man with 
the scythe, taking one of the pistols up by the muzzle, and 
preparing to strike with the handle. And as the man 
approached, D'Artagnan, in order to have more freedom for 
his actions, leaned half out of the door; his eyes were fixed 
upon those of the mendicant, which were lighted up by a 



302 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

lantern. Doubtless he recognized D'Artagnan, for he became 
deadly pale; doubtless, the musketeer knew him, for his hair 
stood up on his head. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan!" he cried, falling back a step, 
"Monsieur d'Artagnan! let him pass." 

D'Artagnan was, perhaps, about to reply, when a blow sim 
ilar to that of a mallet falling on the head of an ox was 
heard; it was Porthos, who had just knocked down his man. 

D'Artagnan turned round and saw the unfortunate man 
writhing about four steps off. 

" S'death!" cried he to the coachman. " Spur your horses! 
whip! get on!" 

The coachman bestowed a heavy blow of the whip upon his 
horses; the noble animals reared, then cries of men who 
were knocked down were heard; then a double concussion 
was felt, and two of the wheels had passed over a round and 
flexible body. There was a moment's silence; the carriage 
had cleared the gate. 

" To Cours la Reine!" cried D'Artagnan to the coach 
man; then turning to Mazariu, he said, "Now, my lord, you 
can say five paters and five aves, to thank heaven for your 
deliverance. You are safe, you are free." 

Mazarin replied only by a groan; he could not believe in 
such a miracle. Five minutes later the carriage stopped, hav 
ing reached Cours la Reine. 

" Is my lord pleased with his escort?" asked D'Artagnan. 

"Enchanted, Monson," said Mazarin, venturing his head 
out of one of the windows; "and now do as much for the 
queen." 

" It will be less difficult," replied D'Artagnan, springing 
to the ground. " Monsieur de Valon, I commend his emi 
nence to your care." 

" Be quite at ease/' said Porthos, holding out his hand, 
which D'Artagnan took and shook in his. 

" Oh I" said Porthos. 

D'Artagnan looked with surprise at his friend. 
What is the matter, then?" he asked. 
I think I have sprained the wrist," said Porthos. 
'The devil! why you strike like a blind or a deaf man." 
It was necessary my man was going to fire a pistol at 



me 



but you how did you get rid of yours?" 
' Oh! mine," replied D'Artagnan, "was not a man." 
'What was it, then?" 
' It was an apparition." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 303 

"I charmed it away." 

Without further explanation, D'Artagnan took the pistols 
which were upon the front seat, and placed them in his belt, 
wrapped himself in his cloak, and, not wishing to enter by the 
game gate as that by which they had left, he took his way 
toward the Richelieu gate. 



CHAPTER L. 

THE CARRIAGE OF MONSIEUR LE OOADJUTEUR. 

INSTEAD of returning, then, by the St. Honore gate, D'Ar- 
tagnan, who had time before him, walked round and re- 
entered by the Porte Richelieu. He was approached to be 
examined; and when it was discovered by his plumed hat and 
his laced coat that he was an officer of the musketeers, he was 
surrounded, with an intention to make him cry " Down with 
Mazarin!" Their first demonstration did not fail to make 
him uneasy at first; but when he knew what it concerned, he 
shouted in such a fine voice that even the most exacting wore 
satisfied. He walked down the Rue Richelieu, meditating 
how he shonldtcarry off the queen in her turn for to take 
her in a carriage bearing the arms of France was not to be 
thought of when he perceived an equipage standing at the 
door of the hotel belonging to Madame de Guemenee. 

He was struck by a sudden idea. 

" Ah, pardieu !" he exclaimed; " that would be fair play. 

And approaching the carriage, he examined the arms on the 
panels, and the livery of the coachman on his box. This 
scrutiny was so much the more easy, the coachman being 
asleep with the reins in his hands. 

" It is, in truth, Monsieur le Coadjnteur's carriage," said 
D'Artagnan; " upon my honor I begin to think that heaven 
is prospering us.'' 

He mounted noiselessly into the chariot, and pulled the 
silk cord which was attached to the coachman's little finger. 

" To the Palais Royal," he called out. 

The coachman awoke with a start, and drove off in the 
direction he was desired, never doubting but that the order 
had come from his master. The porter at the palace was 
about to close the gates, but seeing such a handsome equipage, 
he fancied that it was some visit of importance, and the car 
riage was allowed to pass, and to stop under the porch. It 
was then only that the coachman perceived that the grooms 



304 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

were not behind the vehicle; he fancied Monsieur le Coad- 
juteur had sent them back, and without leaving the reins he 
sprang from his box to open the door. D'Artaguan sprang 
in his turn to the ground, and just at the moment when the 
coachman, alarmed at not seeing his master, fell back a step, 
he seized him by his collar with the left, while with the right 
he placed a pistol to his throat. 

" Try to pronounce one single word," muttered D'Artagnan, 
" and you are a dead man." 

The coachman perceived at once, by the expression in the 
countenance of the man who thus add'ressed him, that he had 
fallen into a trap, and he remained with his mouth wide open 
and his eyes immoderately starting. 

Two musketeers were pacing the court, to whom D'Artag 
nan called by their names. 

" Monsieur Belliere," said he to one of them, " do me the 
favor to take the reins from the hands of this worthy man, to 
mount upon the box, and to drive to the door of the private 
stair, and to wait for me there; it is on an affair of impor 
tance which is for the service of the king." 

The musketeer, who knew that his lieutenant was incapable 
of jesting with regard to the service, obeyed without saying a 
word, although he thought the order strange.* Then turning 
toward the second musketeer, D'Artagnan said: 

"Monsieur de Verger, help me to place this man in a place 
of safety." 

The musketeer, thinking that his lieutenant had just 
arrested some prince in disguise, bowed, and drawing his 
sword, signified that he was ready. D'Artagnan mounted the 
staircase, followed by his prisoner, who in his turn was 
followed by the soldier, and entered Mazarin's anteroom. 
Bernouin was waiting there, impatient for news of his master. 

" Well, sir?" he said. 

" Everything goes on capitally, my dear Monsieur Ber 
nouin, but here is a man whom I must beg you to put in a 
safe place." 

" Where, then, sir?" 

" Where you like, provided that the place which you shall 
choose has shutters secured by padlocks and a door which can 
be locked." 

" We have that, sir," replied Bernouin; and the poor coach 
man was conducted to a closet, the windows of which were 
barred, and which looked very much like a prison. 

"And now, my good friend," said D'Artagnan to him, "I 
must invite you to deprive yourself, for my sake, of your hafc 
and cloak." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 305 

The coachman, as we can well understand, made no resist 
ance; in fact, he was so astonished at what had happened to 
him that he stammered and reeled like a drunken man. 
D'Artagnau deposited his clothes under the arm of one of the 
valets. 

" And now, Monsieur Verger," he said, " shut yourself up 
with this man until Monsieur Bernouin returns to open the 
door. Your office will be tolerably long and not very amus 
ing, I know; but/' added he seriously, " you understand, it 
is on the king's service." 

"At your command, lieutenant," replied the musketeer, 
who saw that the business was a serious one. 

"By the by," continued D'Artaguan, "should this man 
attempt to fly or to call out, pass your sword through his 
body." 

The musketeer signified by a nod that the commands 
should be obeyed to the letter, and D'Artagnan went out, 
followed by Bernouin: midnight struck. 

" Lead me into the queen's oratory," said D'Artagnan, 
"announce to her I am there, and put this parcel, with a 
well-loaded musket, under the seat of the carriage which is 
waiting at the foot of the private stair." 

Bernouin conducted D'Artagnan to the oratory, where he 
sat down pensively. Everything had gone on as usual at the 
Palais R^yal. As we said before, at ten o'clock almost all 
the guests were dispersed; those who were to fly with the 
court had the word of command, and they were each 
severally desired to be from twelve o'clock to one at Cours la 
Keiue. 

At ten o'clock Anne of Austria had entered the king's room. 
Monsieur had just retired, and the youthful Louis remaining 
the last, was amusing himself by placing some lead soldiers in 
a line of battle, a game which delighted him much. Two 
royal pages were playing with him. 

" Laporte," said the queen, " it is time for his majesty to 
go to bed." 

The king asked to remain up, having, he said, no wish to 
sleep; but the queen was firm. 

" Are you not going to-morrow morning at six o'clock, 
Louis, to bathe at Conflans? I think you asked to do so 
yourself." 

" You are right, madame," said the king, " and I am ready 
to retire to my room when you have kissed me. Laporte, give 
the light to Monsieur the Chevalier de Coislin." 

The queen touched with her lips the white, smooth brow 



306 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

which the royal child presented to her with the gravity which 
already partook of etiquette. 

" Go to sleep soon, Louis," said the queen, "for you must 
be woke very early." 

" I will do my best to obey you, madame," said the youthful 
king, " but I have no inclination to sleep." 

" Laporte," said Anne of Austria, in an undertone, " find 
some very dull book to read to his majesty, but do not un 
dress yourself." 

The king went out, accompanied by the Chevalier de Cois- 
lin bearing the candlestick, and then the queen returned to 
her own apartment. Her ladies that is to say, Madame de 
Brey, Mademoiselle de Beaumont, Madame de Motteville, 
and Socraytine, her sister, so called on account of her sense, 
had just brought into her dressing-room the remains of the 
dinner, upon which, according to her usual custom, she 
supped. The queen then gave her orders, spoke of a banquet 
which the Marquis de Villequier was to give to her on the 
day after the morrow, indicated the persons whom she should 
admit to the honor of being at it, announced another visit on 
the following day to Val-de- Grace, where she intended to pay 
her devotions, and gave her commands to her senior valet to 
accompany her. When the ladies had finished their supper, 
the queen feigned extreme fatigue, and passed into her bed 
room. Madame de Motteville, who was on especial duty that 
evening, followed to aid and undress her. The queen then 
began to read, and, after conversing with her affectionately 
for a few minutes, dismissed her. 

It was at this moment that D'Artagnan entered with the 
coadjutor's carriage into the courtyard of the palace, and a 
few seconds later the carriage of the ladies in waiting drove 
out, and the gates were shut after them. 

A few minutes after twelve o'clock Bernouin knocked 
at the queen's bedroom door, having come by the cardinal's 
secret corridor. Anne of Austria opened the door herself. 
She was undressed that is to say, she had drawn on her 
stockings again, and was wrapped in a long dressing-gown. 

" It is you, Bernouin," she said. " Is Monsieur d'Artag- 
nan there?" 

" Yes, madame, in your oratory; he is waiting till your 
majesty be ready." 

"I am. Go and tell Laporte to wake and dress the king, 
and then pass on to the Marechal de Villeroy and summon 
him to me. 

Bernouin bowed and retired. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 307 

The queen entered her oratory, which wa3 lighted by a 
single lamp of Venetian crystal. She saw D'Artagnan, who 
stood expecting her. 
' Is it you?" she said. 
' Yes, madame." 
'Are you readv?" 
'I am." 

' And his eminence, the cardinal." 

'Has got off without any accident. He is awaiting your 
majesty at Cours la Reine." 

' But in what carriage do we start." 

' I have provided for everything a carriage is waiting 
below for your majesty." 

" Let us go to the king." 

D'Artagnan bowed, and followed the queen. The young 
Louis was already dressed, with the exception of his shoes 
and doublet; he had allowed himself to be dressed in 
great astonishment, overwhelming with questions Laporte, 
who replied only in these words: "Sire, it is by the queen's 
commands." 

The bed was open, and the sheets were so worn that holes 
could be seen in some places another evidence of the stingi 
ness of Mazarin. 

The queen entered, and D'Artagnan remained at the door. 
As soon as the child perceived the queen he escaped from 
Laporte, and ran to meet her. Anne then motioned to 
D'Artagnan to approach, and he obeyed. 

"My son," said Anne of Austria, pointing to the mus 
keteer, calm, standing uncovered, " here is Monsieur d'Ar- 
tagnan, who is as brave as one of those ancient heroes of 
whom you like so much to hear from my women. Remem 
ber his name well, and look at him well, that his face may 
not be forgotten, for this evening he is going to render us a 
great service." 

The young king looked at the officer with his large formed 
eye, and repeated: 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan." 

" That is it, my son." 

The young king slowly raised his little hand, and held 
it out to the musketeer; the latter bent on his knee, and 
kissed it. 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan," repeated Louis; " very well, 
madame." 

At this moment they were startled by a noise as if a tumult 
were approaching. 



308 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" What is that?" exclaimed the queen. 

" Oh, oh!" replied D'Artagnan, straining both at the same 
time his quick ear and his intelligent glance, "it is the sound 
of the people revolting." 

" We must fly," said the queen. 

" Your majesty has given me the control of this business; 
we must wait and see what they want." 

" Monsieur d'Artagnan." 

" I will answer for everything." 

Nothing is so catching as confidence. The qneen, full of 
strength and courage, was quickly alive to these two virtues 
in others. 

" Do as you like," she said, " I rely upon you." 

" Will your majesty permit me to give orders in your name 
in this whole business." 

" Command, sir." 

" What do the people want again?" asked the king. 

" We are about to know, sire," replied D'Artagnan, as he 
rapidly left the room. 

The tumult continued to increase, and seemed to surround 
the Palais Royal entirely. Cries were heard from the interior, 
of which they could not comprehend the sense. It was 
evident that there was clamor and sedition. 

The king, half-dressed, the queen and Laporte, remained 
each in the same state, and almost in the same place, where 
they were listening and waiting. Comminges, who was on 
guard that night at the Palais Royal, ran in. He had about 
two hundred men in the courtyards and stables, and he placed 
them at the queen's disposal. 

" Well," asked Anne of Austria, when D'Artaguan reap 
peared, " what is it?" 

" It is, madame, that the report has spread that the queen 
has left the Palais Royal, carrying off the king, and the 
people ask to have proof to the contrary, or threaten to de 
molish the Palais Royal." 

"Oh, this time it is too much," exclaimed the queen, 
" and 1 will prove to them that I have not left." 

D'Artagnan saw from the expression of the queen's face 
that she was about to issue some violent command. He ap 
proached her, and said, in a low voice: 

" Has your majesty still confidence in me?" 

This voice startled her. " Yes, sir," she replied, " every 
confidence speak." 

" Will the queen deign to follow my advice?" 

"Speak." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 309 

" Let your majesty dismiss M. de Comminges, and desire 
him to shut himself up with his men, in the guardhouse 
and in the stables." 

Comminges glanced at D'Artagnan, with the envious look 
with which every courtier sees a new favorite spring up. 

" You hear, Comminges?" said the queen. 

D'Artagnan went up to him; with his usual quickness he 
had caught the anxious glance. 

" Monsieur de Comminges," he said, "pardon me; we are 
both the queen's servants, are we not? it is my turn to be of 
use to her; do not envy me this happiness." 

Comminges bowed and left. 

" Come," said D'Artagnan to himself, " that is one more 
enemy for me there." 

" And now," said the queen, addressing D'Artagnan, 
" what is to be done? for you hear that, instead of becoming 
calmer, the noise increases." 

" Madame," said D'Artagnan, " the people want to see the 
king, and they must see him." 

" How! they must see him! where, on the balcony?" 

" Not at all, madame, but here, sleeping in his bed." 

" Oh, your majesty," exclaimed Laporte, " Monsieur D'Ar 
tagnan is right." 

The queen became thoughtful, and smiled, like a woman 
to whom duplicity is no stranger. 

" Without doubt," she murmured. 

" Monsieur Laporte," said D'Artagnan, " go and announce 
to the people through the grating that they are going to be 
satisfied, and that in five minutes they shall not only see the 
king, but they shall see him in bed; and that the king sleeps, 
and that the queen begs that they will keep silence, so as 
not to awakan him." 

" But not every one; a deputation of two or four people/' 

" Every one, madame." 

" Bat reflect, they will keep us here till daybreak." 

" It shall take but a quarter of an hour. 1 answer for 
everything, madame; believe me, I know the people they 
are like a great child, who only wants humoring. Before the 
sleeping king, they will be mute, gentle, and timid as lambs." 

" Go, Laporte," said the queen. 

The young king approached his mother and said: "Why 
do as those people ask?" 

" It must be so, my sou," said Anne of Austria. 

" But then, if they say ' it must be' to me, am I no longer 
king?" 



310 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The queea remained silent. 

" Sire," said D'Artagnan, " will your majesty permit me 
to ask you a question?" 

Louis XIV. turned round, astonished that any one should 
dare to address him. But the queen pressed the child's hand. 

" Yes, sir/' he said. 

" Does your majesty remember when playing in the park 
of Fontainebleau, or in the palace-courts at Versailles, to 
have seen the sky suddenly become dark, and have heard the 
sound of thunder?" 

" Yes, certainly." 

" Well, then, this noise of thunder, however much your 
majesty may have wished to play on, has said: ' Go in, sire." 
You must do so." 

"Certainly, sir; but they tell me that the noise of thunder 
is the voice of God." 

"Well, then^sire," continued D'Artagnan, " listen to the 
noise of the people, and you will see that it resembles that 
of thunder." 

In truth, at that moment a terrible murmur was wafted to 
them by the night breeze; then all at once it ceased. 

"Hold, sire," said D'Artagnan, "they have just told the 
people that you are asleep; you see that you are still king." 

The queen looked with surprise at this strange man, whose 
brilliant courage made him the equal of the bravest, and whc 
was, by his fine and ready intelligence, the equal of all. 

Laporte entered. 

" Well, Laporte," asked the queen. 

" Madame," he replied, " Monsieur d'Artagnan's predic 
tion has been accomplished; they were calmed as if by en 
chantment. The doors are about to be opened, and in five 
minutes they will be here." 

"Laporte," said the queen, " suppose you put one of yom 
sons in the king's place; we might be off during the time." 

" If your majesty desires it," said Laporte, " my sons, like 
myself, are at the queen's service." 

" Not at all," said D'Artagnan; " for should one of them 
know his majesty, and find out the substitute, all would be 
lost." 

"You are right, sir always right," said Anne of Austria. 
" Laporte, place the king in the bed." 

Laporte placed the king, dressed as he was, in the bed, and 
then covered him as far as the shoulders with the sheet. 
The queen bent over him, and kissed his brow. 

" Pretend to sleep, Louis," said she. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 311 

" Yes," said the king, " but I wish not to be touched by 
one of those men." 

" Sire, I am here," said D'Artagnan, " and I give you my 
word that if a single man has the audacity, his life shall pay 
for it." 

"And now what is to be done?" asked the queen, "for I 
hear them." 

"Monsieur Laporte, go to them, and again recommend 
silence. Madame, wait at the door, while I shall be at the 
head of the king's bed, ready to die for him." 

Laporte went out; the queen remained standing near the 
hangings, while D'Artagnan glided behind the curtains. 

Then the heavy and collected steps of a multitude of men 
were heard, and the queen herself raised the tapestry hang 
ings, and put her finger on her lips. 

On seeing the queen, the men stopped short, respectfully. 

"Enter, gentlemen; enter," said the queen. 

There was then among that crowd a moment's hesitation, 
which looked like shame. They had expected resistance 
they had expected to be thwarted to have to force the gates, 
and to overturn the guards. The gates had opened of them 
selves; and the king, ostensibly at least, had no other guard 
at his bed-head, but his mother. The foremost of them 
stammered, and attempted to fall back. 

" Enter then, gentlemen," said Laporte, " since the queen 
permits you to do so." 

Then, one more bold than the rest, ventured to pass the 
door, and to advance on tiptoe. This example was imitated 
by the rest, until the room filled silently, as if these men had 
been the most humble and devoted courtiers. Far beyond 
the door, the heads of those who were not able to enter could 
be seen, all rising on the tips of their feet. 

D'Artagnan saw it all through an opening that he had 
made in the curtain, and in the first man who had entered he 
had recognized Planchet. 

" Sir," said the queen to him, thinking that he was the 
leader of the band, " you wish to see the king, and therefore 
I determined to show him to you myself. Approach, aud 
look at him, aud say if we have the appearance of people who 
wish to escape." 

" No, certainly," replied Planchet, rather astonished at the 
unexpected honor conferred upon him. 

" You will say, then, to my good and faithful Parisians," 
continued Anne, with a smile, the expression of which did not 
deceive D'Artagnan, " that you have seen the king in bed 
and asleep, and the queen also ready to retire." 



312 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

"I shall tell them, madame, and those who accompany me 
will say the same thing, but " 

"But what?" asked Anne of Austria. 

" May your majesty pardon me," said Planchet; " but is it 
really the king who is lying there?" 

Anne of Austria started. " If/' she said, "there is one 
among you who knows the king, let him approach, and say 
whether it is really his majesty lying there." 

A man, wrapped in a cloak, in the folds of which his face 
was hidden, approached, and leaned over the bed and looked. 

For one second D'Artagnan thought the man had some evil 
design, and he put his hand to his sword; but in the movement 
made by the man in stooping, a portion of his face was un 
covered, and D'Artagnan recognized the coadjutor. 

" It is certainly the king," said the man, rising again. 
" God bless his majesty!" 

" Yes," repeated the leader in a whisper, "God bless his 
majesty!" and all these men who had entered furious, passed 
from anger to pity, and blessed the royal infant in their turn. 

'"Now," said Planchet, "let us thank the queen. My 
friends, retire." 

They all bowed, and retired by degrees, as noiselessly as they 
had entered. Planchet, who had been the first to enter, was 
the last to leave. The queen stopped him. 

" What is your name, my friend?" she said. 

Planchet, much surprised at the inquiry, turned back. 

" Yes," continued the queen, " I think myself as much 
honored to have received you this evening as if you had been 
a prince, and I wish to know your name." 

"Yes," thought Planchet, "to treat me as A prince. No, 
thank you." 

D'Artagnan trembled lest Planchet, seduced like the crow 
in the fable, should say his name, and that the queen, know 
ing his name, would discover that Planchet had belonged to 
him. 

" Madame," replied Planchet respectfully, " I am called 
Dulaurier, at your service." 

"Thank you, Monsieur Dulaurier," said the queen, "and 
what is your business?" 

" Madame, I am a clothier in the Rue Bourdonnais." 

"That is all that I wished to know, "said the queen. 
" Much obliged to you, Monsieur Dulaurier. Yon will hear 
again from me." 

"Come, come," thought D'Artagnan, emerging from be 
hind the curtain; "decidedly Monsieur Planchet is no fool, 
and it is evident he has been brought up in a good school." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 313 

The different actors in this strange scene remained facing 
one another, without uttering a single word ; the queen stand 
ing near the door D'Artagnan half out of his hiding place 
the king raised on his elbow, ready to fall down on his bed 
again at the slightest sound which should indicate the return 
of the multitude ; but instead of approaching, the noise became 
more and more distant, and finished by dying away entirely. 

The queen breathed more freely. D'Artagnan wiped his 
damp forehead, and the king slid off his bed, saying "Let 
us go." 

At this moment Laporte reappeared. 

"Well?" asked the queen. 

"Well, ma dame I" replied the valet ; "I followed them as 
far as the gates. They announced to all their comrades that 
they had seen the king, and that the queen had spoken to 
them; and, in fact, they have gone off quite proud and 
happy." 

"Oh, the miserable wretches !" murmured the queen, 
"they shall pay dearly for their boldness, and it is I who 
promise it to them." 

Then turning to D'Artagnan she said : 

"Sir, you have given me this evening the best advice that I 
have ever received. Continue, and say what we must do now." 

"Monsieur Laporte," said D'Atrtagnan, "finish dressing 
his majesty." 

"We may go then?" asked the queen. 

"When your majesty pleases. You have only to descend 
by the private stairs, and you will find me at the door." 

"Go, sir," said the queen ; "I will follow you." 

D'Artagnan went down, and found the carriage at its post, 
and the musketeer on the box. D'Artagnan took out the 
parcel, which he had desired Bernouin to place under the 
seat. It may be remembered that it was the hat and cloak 
belonging to Monsieur de Gondy's coachman. 

He placed the cloak on his shoulders, and the hat on his 
head, while the musketeer got off the box. 

"Sir," said D'Artagnan, "You will go and release your 
companion, who is guarding the coachman. You must mount 
your horse, and proceed to Eue Tiquetonne, Hotel de la 
Chevrette, whence you will take my horse, and that of Mon 
sieur de Valon, which you must saddle and equip as If for 
war, and then you will leave Paris, bringing them with you to 
Cours la Reine. If, when you arrive at Cours la Reine, you 
find no one, you must go on to St. Germain. On the king's 
service." DUMAS-VOL. XIII. 



314 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The musketeer touched bis cap, and went away to execute 
the orders he had received. 

D'Artagnan mounted on the box, having a pair of pistols 
in his belt, a musket under his feet, and a naked sword be 
hind him. 

The queen appeared, and was followed by the king and the 
Duke d'Anjou, his brother. 

" Monsieur the coadjutor's carriage!" she exclaimed, falling 
back. 

" Yes, madame," said D'Artagnan; " but get in fearlessly, 
for I drive you." 

The queen uttered a cry of surprise, and entered the car 
riage, and the king and monsieur took their places &t her 
side. 

" Come, Laporte," said the queen. 

" How, madame," said the valet, "in the same carriage as 
your majesties." 

" It is not a matter of royal etiquette this evening, but of 
the king's safety. Get in, Laporte." 

Laporte obeyed. 

" Pull down the blinds/' said D'Artagnan. 

"But will that not excite suspicion, sir?" asked the queen. 

"Your majesty's mind may be quite at ease," replied the 
officer. " I have my answer ready." 

The blinds were pulled down, and they started at a gallop 
by the Rue Richelieu. On reaching the gate, the captain of 
the post advanced at the head of some ten men, holding a 
lantern in his hand. 

D'Artaguan signed to them to draw near. 

" Do you recognize the carriage?" ho asked the sergeant. 

" No," replied the latter. 

" Look at the arms." 

The sergeant put the lantern near the panel. 

" They are those of Monsieur le Coadjuteur," he said. 

" Hush; he is enjoying a ride with Madame de Gueinenee.' ; 

The sergeant began to laugh. 

"Open the gate," he cried, "I know who it is!" Then 
putting his face to the lowered blinds, he said: 

"I wish you joy, my lord!" 

"Impudent fellow," cried D'Artagnan, "you will get me 
turned off." 

The gate groaned on its hinges, and D'Artagnan, seeing 
the way cleared, whipped on his horses, who started at a 
canter, and five minutes later they had rejoined the cardinal. 

" Mousqueton!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, "draw up the 
blinds of his majesty's carriage." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 315 

"It is he!" cried Porthos. 
'As a coachman!" exclaimed Mazarin. 
" And with the coadjutor's carriage!" said the queen. 
i( Corpo di Dio! Monson d'Artaguan," said Mazarin, " you 
are worth your weight in gold." 



CHAPTER LI. 

HOW D'ARTAGNAN AND PORTHOS EARNED BY THE SALE 
OF STRAW THE ONE TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN AND 
THE OTHER TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN LOUIS D'OR. 

MAZARIN was desirous of setting out instantly for St. Ger 
main; but the queen declared that she should wait for the 
people whom she had appointed to meet her. However, she 
offered the cardinal, Laporte's place, which he accepted, and 
went from one carriage to the other. 

It was without foundation that a report of the king's in 
tending to leave Paris by night had been circulated. Ten or 
twelve persons had been in the secret since six o'clock, and 
how great soever their prudence might be, they could not 
issue the necessary orders for the departure without the thing 
transpiring a little. Besides, each individual had some one 
or two others interested in him; and as there could be no 
doubt but that the queen was leaving Paris full of terrible 
projects of vengeance, every one had warned parents and 
friends of what was going to happen; so that the news of the 
approaching exit ran like a train of lighted gunpowder 
through the streets. 

The first carriage which arrived after that of the queen was 
that of the Prince de Conde, who, with the princess and 
dowager princess, was in it. Both these ladies had been 
awakened in the middle of the night, and did not know what 
it was all about. The second contained the Duke and 
Duchess of Orleans, the tall young Mademoiselle, and the 
Abbe de la Rividre; and the third, the Duke de Longueville 
and the Prince de Conti, brother and brother-in-law of Conde. 
They all alighted, and hastened to pay their respects to the 
king and queen in their coach. The queen fixed her eyes 
upon the carriage they had left, and seeing that it was empty, 
she said: 

"But where is Madame de Longueville?" 

" Ah, yes, where is my sister?" asked the prince. 



316 TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 

"Madame de Longueville is ill," said the duke, "and she 
desired me to excuse her to your majesty." 

Anne gave a quick glance at Mazarin, who replied by an 
almost imperceptible shake of his head. 

"What do you say of this?" asked the queen. 

" I say that she is an hostage for the Parisians," answered 
the cardinal. 

" Why is she not come?" asked the prince in a low voice, 
addressing his brother. 

" Silence," whispered the duke; " she has her reasons." 

"She will ruin us!" returned the prince. 

" She will save us," said Conti. 

Carriages now arrived in crowds: those of the Marechal de 
Villeroy, Guitant, Villequier, and Comminges came into the 
line. The two musketeers arrived in their turn, holding the 
horses of D'Artagnan and Porthos in their hands. These 
two instantly mounted; the coachman of the latter replacing 
D'Artagnan on the coach-box of the royal coach. Mous- 
queton took the place of the coachman, and drove standing 
for reasons known to himself like the Phaeton of antiquity. 

The queen, though occupied by a thousand details, tried 
to catch the Gascon's eye; but he, with his wonted prudence, 
had mingled with the crowd. 

" Let us be the avant-guard," said he to Porthos, " and 
find out good quarters at St. Germain; nobody will think of 
us, and for my part, I am much fatigued." 

" As for me," replied Porthos, " I'm falling asleep, con 
sidering that we have not had any fighting; truly, the Par 
isians are idiots." 

" Or rather, we are very clever," said D'Artagnan. 

" Perhaps." 

"And your wrist how is it?" 

" Better but do you think that we've got them this time?" 

" Got what?" 

"You, your promotion and I, my title." 

" Ffaith! yes I should expect so besides, if they forget, 
I shall take the liberty of reminding them." 

" The queen's voice! She is speaking," said Porthos; "I 
think she wants to ride on horseback." 

" Oh, she would like it she would but " 

"But what?" 

" The cardinal won't allow it. Gentlemen," he said, ad 
dressing the two musketeers, " accompany the royal car 
riage; we are going on to seek for lodgings." 

" Let us depart, gentlemen," said the queen. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 317 

And the royal carriage drove on, followed by the other 
coaches and about fifty horsemen. 

They reached St. Germain without any accident: on de 
scending the footstep, the queen found the prince awaiting 
her, bareheaded; to offer her his hand. 

" What an alarm for the Parisians!" said the queen. 

" It is war," were the emphatic words of the prince. 

" Well, then, let it be war! Have we not on our side the 
conquerer of Mocroy, of Nordlingen, of Lens?" 

The prince bowed low. 

It was then nine o'clock in the morning. The queen 
walked first into the chateau; every one followed her. About 
two hundred persons had accompanied her in her flight. 

" Gentlemen," said the queen, laughing, *' pray take up 
your abode in the chateau; it is large, and there will be no 
want of room for you all; but, as we never thought of coin 
ing here, I am informed that there are, in all, only three 
beds here, one for the king, one for me " 

" And one for the cardinal," muttered the prince. 

" Am I am I then to sleep on the floor?" asked Gastoq 
D'Orleans, with a forced smile. 

" No, my prince," replied Mazarin, " for the third bed is 
intended for your highness." 

" But your eminence?" replied the prince. 

" I " answered Mazarin " I shall not sleep at all; I shall 
have work to do." 

Gastou desired that he should be shown into the room 
where he was to sleep, without in the least concerning him 
self as to where his wife and daughter were to repose. 

" Well, for my part, I shall go to bed," said D'Artagnan; 
"come, Porthos." 

Porthos followed the lieutenant with that profound confi 
dence which he had in the wisdom of his friend. They 
walked from one end of the chateau to the other, Porthos 
looking with wondering eyes at D'Artagnan, who was count 
ing on his fingers. 

"Four hundred, at a pistole each four hundred pistoles." 

" Yes," interposed Porthos, "four hundred pistoles; but 
who is to make four hundred pistoles?" 

"A pistole is not enough," said D'Artagnan, "'tis worth 
a lonis." 

" What is worth a louis?" 

"Four hundred, at a louis each, make four hundred louis." 

<f Four hundred!" exclaimed Porthos. 

" Listen !" cried D'Artagnau. 



318 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

But, as there were all descriptions of people about, who 
were in a state of wonderment at the arrival of the court, 
which they were watching, he whispered in his friend's ear. 

" I understand," answered Porthos, " I understand you 
perfectly, on my honor: two hundred louis, each of us, would 
be making a pretty thing of it; but what will people say?" 

" Let them say what they will; besides, how will they know 
it's us." 

But who will distribute these things?" asked Porthos. 
I, and Mousqueton there." 

But he wears my livery; my livery will be known," re 
plied Porthos. 

He can turn his coat inside out." 

You are always in the right, my dear friend," cried Por 
thos; " but where the devil do you discover all the notions 
you put into practice?" 

D'Artagnan smiled. The two friends turned down the 
first street they came to. Porthos knocked at the door of a 
house to the right, while D'Artagnau knocked at the door of 
a house to the left. 

" Some straw," they said. 

" Sir, we don't keep any," was the reply of the people who 
opened the doors; " but ask, please, at the hay dealer's." 

" Where is the hay-dealer's?" 

" At the last large door in the street." 

" Are there any other people in St. Germain who sell 
straw ?" 

" Yes; there's the landlord of the Lamb, and Gros-Louis, 
the farmer they live in the Rue des Ursuliues." 

"Very well."" 

D'Artagnan went instantly to the hay dealer, and bargained 
with him for a hundred and fifty trusses of straw, which he 
had, at the rate of three pistoles each. He went afterward 
to the innkeeper, and bought from him two hundred trusses 
at the same price. Finally, Farmer Louis sold them eighty 
trusses, making in all four hundred and thirty. 

There was no more to be had in St. Germain. This 
foraging did not occupy more than half an hour. Mousque- 
ton, duly instructed, was put at the head of this sudden and 
new business. He was cautioned not to let a bit of straw 
out of his hands under a louis a truss, and they entrusted to 
him straw to the amount of four hundred and thirty Jouis. 
D'Artagnau, taking with him three trusses of straw, returned 
to the chateau, where everybody, freezing with cold, and fall 
ing asleep, envied the king, the queen, and the Duke of 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 319 

Orleans, on their camp-beds. The lieutenant's entrance 
produced a burst of laughter in the great drawing-room; but 
he did not appear to notice that he was the object of general 
attention, but began to arrange with so much cleverness, 
nicety, and gayety, his straw bed, that the mouths of all 
these sleepy creatures, who could not go to sleep, began to 
water. 

"Straw!" they all cried out, "straw! where is any to be 
found?" 

" I can show you," answered the Gascon. 

And he conducted them to Mousqueton, who distributed 
lavishly the trusses at a guinea apiece. It was thought 
rather dear, but people wanted to go to sleep, and who 
would not give even two or three louis for some hours of 
sound sleep? 

Mousqueton, who knew nothing of what was going on in the 
chateau, wondered that the idea had not occurred to him 
sooner. D'Artagnan put the gold in his hat, and, in going 
back to the chateau, settled the reckoning with Porthos; each 
of them had cleared two hundred and fifteen louis. 

Porthos, however, found that he had no straw left for him 
self. He returned to Mousqueton, but the steward had sold 
the last wisp. He then repaired to D'Artagnan, who, thanks 
to his four trusses of straw, was in the act of making up and 
of tasting, by anticipation, the luxury of a bed so soft, so 
well stuffed at the head, so well covered at the foot, that it 
would have excited the envy of the king himself, if his 
majesty had not been fast asleep in his own. D'Artagnan 
could, on no account, consent to pull his bed to pieces again 
for Porthos, but for a consideration of four lois that the lat 
ter paid him for it, he consented that Porthos should share 
his couch with him. He laid his sword at the head, his 
pistols by his side, stretched his cloak over his feet, placed 
his felt hat on the top of his cloak, and extended himself 
luxuriously on the straw, which rustled under him. He was 
already enjoying the sweet dreams engendered by the pos 
session of two hundred and nineteen louis, made in a quarter 
of an hour, when a voice was heard at the door of the hall, 
which made him stir. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan!" it cried. 

"Here!" cried Porthos, " here!" 

Porthos foresaw that if D'Artagnan was called away he 
should remain sole possessor of the bed. An officer ap 
proached. 

" lam come to fetch you, Monsieur d'Artagnan." 



320 TWENTY YEAHS AFTEK. 

"From whom?" 

"His eminence sent me." 

"Tell my lord that I'm going to sleep, and I advise him, 
as a friend, to do the same." 

" His eminence is not gone to bed, and will not go to bed, 
and wants you instantly. 

" The devil take Mazarin, who does not know when to 
sleep at the proper time. What does he want with me? Is 
it to make me a captain? In that case I forgive him." 

And the musketeer rose, grumbling, took his sword, hat, 
pistols and cloak, and followed the officer, while Porthos, 
alone, and sole possessor of the bed, endeavored to follow the 
good example of falling asleep, which his predecessor had set 
him. 

" Monsieur D'Artagnan," said the cardinal, on perceiving 
him, " I have not forgotten with what zeal you have served 
me. I am going to prove to you that I have not." 

" Good," thought the Gascon, " this begins well." 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan," he resumed, "do you wish to 
become a captain ?" 

" Yes, my lord." 

" And your friend still wishes to be made a baron?" 

" At this very moment, my lord, he's dreaming that he is 
one." 

" Then," said Mazarin, taking from his portfolio the letter 
which he had already shown D'Artagnan, " take this dis 
patch, and carry it to England." 

D'Artagnan looked at the envelope, there was no address 
on it. 

" Am I not to know to whom to present it?" 

" You will know when you reach London: at London you 
may tear off the outer envelope." 

" And what are my instructions?" 

" To obey, in every particular, him to whom this letter is 
addressed. You must set out for Boulogne. At the ' Royal 
Arms of England ' you will find a young gentleman, named 
Mordaunt." 

" Yes, my lord; and what am I to do with this young 
gentleman?" 

" To follow wherever he leads you." 

D'Artagnan looked at the cardinal with a stupefied air. 

" There are your instructions," said Mazarin; "go!" 

"Go! 'tis easy to say so, but that requires money, and I 
haven't any." 

" Ah!" replied Mazarin, "so you've no money?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 321 

" None, my lord." 

" But the diamond I gave you yesterday?" 

" I wish to keep it in remembrance of your eminence." 

Mazarin sighed. 

" 'Tis very dear living in England, my lord, especially as 
envoy extraordinary." 

"Zounds!" replied Mazarin, "the people there are very 
sedate, and their habits, since the revolution, simple; but no 
matter." 

He opened a drawer, and took out a purse. 

" What do you say to a thousand crowns?" 

D'Artaguan pouted out his lower lip in a most extraordi 
nary manner. 

"I reply, my lord, 'tis but little, as certainly I shall not go 
alone." 

" I suppose not. Monsieur de Valon, that worthy gentle 
man, for, with the exception of yourself, Monson d'Artagnan, 
there's not a man in France that I esteem and love so much ae 
him 

" Then, my lord," replied D'Artagnan, pointing to the 
purse which Mazarin still held, " if you love and esteem him 
so much, you understand me?" 

"Be it so! on his account I add two hundred crowns." 

" Scoundrel!" muttered D'Artagnan " but on our return," 
he said aloud, " may we, that is, my friend and I, depend on 
having, he his barony, and I my promotion?" 

"On the honor of Mazarin." 

"I should like another sort of oath better," said D'Artag 
nan to himself then aloud, " May I not offer my duty to her 
majesty the queen?" 

"Her majesty is asleep, and you must set off directly," 
replied Mazarin, "go, pray, sir " 

"One word more, my lord; if there's any fighting where 
I'm going, ought I to fight?" 

" You are to obey the commands of the personage to whom 
I have addressed the enclosed letter." 

" 'Tis well," said D'Artagnan, holding out his hand to 
receive the money. " I offer my best respects and services to 
you, my lord." 

D'Artagnan then, returning to the officer, said: 

" Sir, have the kindness also to awaken Monsieur de Valon, 
and to say 'tis by his eminence's orders, and that I shall wait 
for him at the stables." 

The officer went off with an eagerness that showed the 
Gascon that he had some personal interest in the matter. 



322 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Porthos was snoring most musically, when some one tocched 
him on the shoulder. 

"I come from the cardinal," said the officer. 

" Heigho!" said Porthos, opening his large eyes; " what do 
yon say?" 

" I say that his eminence has ordered yon to go to Eng 
land, and that Monsieur d'Artagnan is waiting for you in 
the stables." 

Porthos sighed heavily arose, took his hat, his pistols, 
and his cloak, and departed, casting a look of regret on the 
bed where he had hoped to sleep so well. 

Scarcely had he turned his back than the officer laid him 
self down in it, and he had not crossed the threshold of the 
door before his successor, in his turn, snored immoderately. 
It was very natural, he being the only man in the whole as 
semblage of people, except the king, the queen, and the Duke 
of Orleans, who slept gratis. 



CHAPTER LII. 

IN WHICH WE HEAR TIDINGS OF ARAMI8. 

D'ARTAGNAN went straight to the stables; day had just 
dawned. He found his horse and that of Porthos fastened to 
the manger, but to an empty manger. He took pity on these 
poor animals, and went to a corner of the stable, where he 
saw a little straw, but in doing so he struck his foot against a 
round body, which uttered a cry, and arose on its knees, rub 
bing its eyes. It was Mousqueton, who, having no straw to 
lie upon himself, had helped himself to that of the horses. 

" Mousqueton," cried D'Artagnan, "let us be off! Let us 
set off." 

Mousqueton, recognizing the voice of his master's friend, 
got up suddenly, and in doing so let fall some louis which he 
had appropriated to himself illegally during the night. 

"Ho! ho!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, picking up a louis and 
displaying it; " here's a louis that smells of straw a little." 

Mousqueton blushed so confusedly that the Gascon began 
to laugh at him, and said: 

" Porthos would be angry, my dear Monsieur Mouston, but 
I pardon you only let us remember that this gold must serve 
us as a joke so be gay come along." 

Mousqueton instantly assumed a most jovial countenance, 
saddled the horses quickly, and mounted his own without 
making faces over it. 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 323 

While this went on, Porthos arrived with a very cross look 
on his face, and was astonished to find the lieutenant resigned, 
and Mousqueton almost merry. 

" Ah, that's it," he cried, " you have your promotion, and 
I my barony." 

" We are going to fetch our brevets/' said D'Artagnan, 
"and when we come back, Master Mazarin will sign them." 

" And where are we going?" asked Porthoa. 

" To Paris first I have affairs to settle. 

And they both set out for Paris. 

On arriving at its gates they were astounded to see the 
threatening aspect of the capital. Around two broken-down 
carriages the people were uttering imprecations, while the 
persons who had attempted to escape were made prisoners 
that is to say, an old man and two women. On the other 
hand, .when the two friends wanted to enter, they showed 
them every kind of civility, thinking them deserters from the 
royal party, and wishing to bind them to their own. 

" What's the king doing?" they asked. 

"He is sleeping. 

" And the Spanish woman?" 

" She's dreaming." 

" And the cursed Italian?" 

" He is awake, so keep on the watch as they are gone 
away, it's for some purpose, rely on it. But as you are the 
strongest, after all," continued D'Artagnan, " don't be fu 
rious with old men and women, and keep your wrath for good 
occasions." 

The people listened to these words, and let go the ladies, 
who thanked D'Artagnan with an appealing look. 

"Now! onward!" cried the Gascon. 

And they continued their way, crossing the barricades, get 
ting the chains about their legs, pushed about, questioning, 
and questioned. 

In the place of the Palais Royal D'Artagnan saw a sergeant, 
who was drilling six or seven hundred citizens. It was Plan- 
chet, who brought into play profitably the recollections of the 
regiment de Piedmont. He recognized his old master, and, 
staring at him with wondering eyes, stood still. The first 
row, seeing their sergeant stop, stopped, and soon to the very 
last. 

"These citizens are awfully ridiculous, "observed D'Artag 
nan to Planchet, and went on his way. 

Five minutes afterward he entered the Hotel of La Chev- 
rette, where pretty Madeleine, the hostess, came to him. 



324 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" My dear Mistress Turquanie," said the Gascon, " if you 
happen to have any money, lock it up quickly. If you 
happen to have any jewels, hide them directly if you happen 
to have any debtors, make them pay you, or have any cred 
itors, don't pay them." 

" Why, prythee?" asked Madeleine. 

" Because Paris is going to be reduced to dust and ashes 
like Babylon, of which you have heard peak." 

" And you are going to leave me at such a time?" 

"This very instant/' 

" And where are yon going?" 

" Ah, if you could tell me that you'd be doing me a serv 
ice." 

"Ah, me! ah, me!" 

"Have you any letters for me?" inquired D'Artagnan, 
wishing to signify to the hostess that her lamentations were 
superfluous, and that therefore she had better spare him the 
demonstrations of her grief. 

" There's one just arrived." 

'* From Athos;" and he read as follows: 

"DEAR D'ARTAGNAN, DEAR DE VALON: My good 
friends, perhaps this may be the last time that you will ever 
hear from me. Let God, our courage, and the remembrance 
of our friendship, support you, nevertheless. I entrust to 
you certain papers which are at Blois, and in two months 
and a half, if you do not hear of us, take possession of them. 

"Embrace, with all your heart, the vicomte, for your 
devoted friend, ATHOS." 

" I believe, by heaven," said D'Artagnan, " that I shall 
embrace him, since he's upon our road; and if he is so unfor 
tunate as to lose our dear Athos, from this very day he be 
comes my son." 

"And I," said Porthos, "shall make him my sole heir." 

"Let us see, what more does Athos say?" 

"'Should you meet on your journey a certain Monsieur 
Mordaunt, distrust him in a letter I cannot say more.' 

" Monsieur Mordaunt!" exclaimed the Gascon, surprised. 

" Monsieur Mordaunt! 'tis well," said Porthos, " we shall 
remember that but look there's a postscript." 

" ' We conceal the place where we are, dear friend, know 
ing your brotherly affection, and that you would come and 
die with us were we to reveal it.' ' 

"Confound it," interrupted Porthos, with an explosion of 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 325 

passion which sent Mousqueton to the other end of the room; 
"are they iu danger of dying." 

D'Artagnan continued 

" ' Atbos bequeaths to you, Raoul, and I bequeath to you my 
revenge. If by any good luck you lay your hand on a certain 
man, named Mordaunt, tell Porthos to take him into a corner, 
and to wring his neck. I dare not say more in a letter/ ' 

" If that is all, Aramis, it is easily done/' said Porthos. . 

"On the contrary/' observed D'Artaguan, with a vexed 
look; " it would be impossible." 

"How so?" 

"This is precisely this Monsieur Mordaunt, whom we are 
going to join at Boulogne, and with whom we cross to Eng 
land/' 

" Well, suppose instead of joining this Monsieur Mordaunt, 
we were to go and join our friends?" said Porthos, with a 
gesture fit to frighten a whole army. 

" I did think of it, but this letter has neither date nor 
postmark." 

" True," said Porthos. And he began to wander about the 
room like a man beside himself, gesticulating, and half draw 
ing his sword out of the scabbard. 

As to D'Artagnan, he remained standing like a man in con 
sternation, with the deepest affliction depicted on his face. 

" Ah, 'tis not right; Athos insults us; he wishes to die 
alone that's bad." 

Mousqueton, witnessing this despair, melted into tears, in 
a corner of the room. 

" Stop an idea!" cried Porthos; " indeed, my dear D'Ar- 
tagnan, I don't know how you manage, but you are always 
full of ideas; let us go and embrace Raoul." 

"Woe to the man who should happen to contradict my 
master at this moment," said Mousqueton to himself. " I 
wouldn't give a farthing for his skin." 

They set out. On arriving at St. Denis the friends found 
a vast concourse of people. It was the Due de Beaufort who 
was coming from the Venddmois, and whom the coadjutor 
was showing to the Parisians, intoxicated with joy. With 
the duke's aid, they considered themselves already as invin 
cible. 

" Is it true," said the guard to the two cavaliers, "that 
the Due de Beaufort has arrived in Paris?" 

" Nothing more certain; and the best proof of it is," said 
D'Artagnan, " that he has despatched us to meet the Due da 
Venddinee, his father, who is coming in his turn." 



326 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Long live De Beaufort!" cried the guards, and they drew 
back respectfully to let their two friends pass. Once across 
the barriers, these two knew neither fatigue nor fear. Their 
horses flew, and they never ceased speaking of Athos and 
Aramis. 

The camp had entered Saint Omer: the friends made a 
little round, and went to the camp, and gave the army an 
exact account of the flight of the king and queen. They 
found Raoul near his tent, reclined upon a truss of hay, of 
which his horse stole some mouthfuls; the young man's eyes 
were red, and he seemed dejected. The Marechal de Gram- 
mont and the Due de Guiche had returned to Paris, and he 
was quite lonely. As soon as he saw the two cavaliers, he 
ran to them with open arms. 

"Oh, is it you, dear friends? Do you come here to fetch 
me? Shall you take me away with you? Do you bring me 
tidings of my guardian?" 

" Have you not received any?" said D'Artagnan to the 
youth. 

"Alas! sir, no and I do not know what has become of 
him so that I am really so unhappy as to weep." 

In fact, tears rolled down his cheeks. 

Porthos turned aside, in order not to show on his good 
round face what was passing in his mind. 

" Deuce take it," cried D'Artagnan, more moved than he 
had been for a long time " don't despair, my friend, if you 
have not received any letters from the count, we have received 
we one." 

"Oh, really!" cried Eaoul. 

" And a comforting one, too," added D'Artagnan, seeing 
the delight that his intelligence gave the young man. 

" Have you got it?" said Raoul. 

" Yes that is, I had it," replied the Gascon, making be 
lieve to try and find it. " Wait, it ought to be there, in my 
pocket; it speaks of his return, does it not, Porthos?" 

" Yes," replied Porthos, laughing. 

"Eh! I read it a little while since. Can I have lost it? 
Ah! confound it! my pocket has a hole in it." 

"Oh yes, Monsieur Raoul!" said Mousqueton; " the letter 
was very consoling. These gentlemen read it to me, and I 
wept for joy." 

" But then, at any rate, you know where he is, Monsieur 
d'Artagnan?" asked Raoul, somewhat comforted. 

"Ah! that's the thing!" replied the Gascon. "Undoubt 
edly I know it, but it is a mystery." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 327 

"Not tome, I hope?" 

" No, not to you, so I am going to tell you where he is." 

Porthos looked at D'Artagnan with his large wondering 
eyes. 

" Where the devil shall I say that he is, so that he cannot 
try to rejoin him?" thought D'Artagnau. 

" Well, where is he, sir?" asked Raoul, in a soft and coax 
ing voice. 

"He is at Constantinople/' 

" Among the Turks!" exclaimed Raoul, alarmed. " Good 
heavens! how can you tell me that?" 

"Does that alarm you?" cried D'Artagnan. "Pooh! 
what are the Turks to such a man as the Count de la Fere 
and the Abbe d'Herblay?" 

"Ah, his friend is with him!" said Raoul; "that consoles 
me a little." 

" Has he wit or not this demon D'Artagnan?" said Por 
thos, astonished at his friend's deception. 

"Now, sir," said D'Artagnan, wishing to change the con 
versation, " here are fifty pistoles that the count has sent you 
by the same courier. I suppose you have no more money, 
and that they will be welcome." 

"I have still twenty pistoles, sir." 

"Well, take them; that makes seventy." 

"And if you wish for more," said Porthos, putting his 
hand to his pocket. 

" Thank you, sir," replied Raoul, blushing; " thank you 
a thousand times." 

At this moment Olivain appeared. " Apropos," said D'Ar 
tagnan, loud enough for the servant to hear him, " are you 
satisfied with Olivain?." 

" Yes, in some respects, pretty well." 

" What fault do you find with the fellow?" 

"He is a glutton." 

" Oh, sir," cried Olivain, reappearing at this accusation. 

"And somewhat of a thief." 

"Oh, sir! oh!" 

"And, more especially, a great coward." 

" Oh, oh, sir! you really villify me!" cried Olivain. 

"The deuce!" cried D'Artagnan. " Pray learn, Monsieur 
Olivain, that people like us are not to be served by cowards. 
You rob your master you eat his sweetmeats and drink his 
wine; but, by Jove! don't be a coward, or I shall cut off your 
ears. Look at Monsieur Mouston, see the honorable wounds 
he has received, and look how his habitual valor has given 
dignity to his countenance." 



328 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Mousqueton was in . the third heavens, and would have 
embraced D'Artagnan had he dared; meanwhile, he resolved 
to sacrifice his life for him oil the next occasion that presented 
itself. 

" Send away that fellow, Raoul," said the Gascon; "for if 
he's a coward he will disgrace thee some, day." 

" Monsieur says I am a coward," cried Olivain, " because 
he wanted the other day to fight a cornet in Grarnmout's 
regiment, and I refused to accompany him." 

"Monsieur Olivain, a lackey ought never to disobey," said 
D'Artagnau, sternly; then, taking him aside, he whispered 
to him: "Thou hast done right; thy master was wrong; 
. here's a crown for thee; but should he ever be insulted, and 
thou dost not let thyself be cut in quarters for him, I will cut 
out thy tongue. Eemember that well." 

Olivaiu bowed, and slipped the crown into his pocket. 

"And now, Raoul," said the Gascon, " Monsieur de Valon 
and I are going away as ambassadors where, I know not; 
but should you want anything, write to Madame Turquaine, 
at La Chevrette, Rue Tiquetoune, and draw upon her money 
as on a banker with economy; for it is not so well filled as 
that of Monsieur St. Emery." 

And having, meantime, embraced his ward, he passed him 
into the robust arms of Porthos, who lifted him up from the 
ground and held him a moment suspended, near the noble 
heart of the formidable giant. 

" Come," said D'Artagnan, " let us go." 

And they set out for Boulogne, where, toward evening, 
they arrived, their horses covered with foam and heat. 

At ten steps from the place where they halted was a young 
man in black, who seemed waiting for some one, and who, 
from the moment he saw them enter the town, never took 
his eyes off them. 

D'Artagnan approached him, and seeing him stare so fix 
edly, said: 

" Well, friend! I don't like people to scan me!" 

" Sir," said the young man, " do you not come from Paris, 
if you please?" 

D'Artagnan thought it was some gossip who wanted news 
from the capital. 

" Yes, sir," he said in a softened tone. 

" Are you not to lodge at the Arms of England?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" Are you not charged with a mission from his eminence 
Cardinal Mazarin!" 

"Yes, sir." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 329 

" In that case I am the man you have to do with. I am 
Mr. Mordauut." 

"Ah!" thought D'Artagnan, " the man I am warned 
against by Athos." 

" Ah!" thought Forth os, "the man Aramis wants me to 
strangle." 

" Well, gentlemen," resumed Mordannt, " we must set off 
without delay; to-day is the last day granted me by the car 
dinal. My ship is ready, and had you not come, I must have 
set off without you, for General Cromwell expects my return 
impatiently." 

"So!" thought the lieutenant, " 'tis to General Cromwell 
that our despatches are addressed." 

" Have you no letter to him?" asked the young man. 

" I have one, the seal of which I was not to break till I 
reached London; but since you tell me to whom it is 
addressed, 'tis useless to wait till then. 

D'Artagnan tore open the envelope of the letter. It was 
directed to " Mr. Oliver Cromwell, General of the army of 
the English nation." 

" Ah!" said D'Artagnan, "a singular commission." 

" Who is this Monsieur Oliver Cromwell?" asked Forthos. 

" Formerly a brewer," replied the Gascon. 

" Perhaps Mazarin wishes to make a speculation in beer, as 
we have in straw," said Porthos. 

" Come, come, gentlemen," said Mordauut impatiently, 
" let us depart." 

"What!" cried Porthos, " without supper? Cannot Mon 
sieur Cromwell wait a little?" 

" Yes, but I cannot," answered Mordannt. 

" Oh! as to you, that is not my concern, and I shall sup 
either with or without your permission." 

The young man's eyes kindled a little, but he restrained 
himself. 

"Just as you please, gentleman, provided we set sail," he 
said. 

" The name of your ship?" inquired D'Artagnan. 

"The Standard." 

"Very well; in half an hour we shall be on board." And 
the friends, spurring on their horses, rode to the hotel, the 
" Arms of England," where they supped with hearty appetite, 
and then at once proceeded to the port. 

There they found a brig ready to set sail, upon the deck of 
which they recognized Mordaunt, walking up and down im- 
patieutly. 



330 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB 

'-' It is singular," said D'Artagnan, while the boat was 
taking them to the Standard, "it is astonishing how that 
young man resembles some one whom I have known but 
whom I cannot name." 

A few minutes later they were on board; but the embark 
ation of horses was a longer matter than that of the men, and 
it was eight o'clock before they raised the anchor. 



CHAPTER LIII. 

THE SCOTCHMAN. 

AND now our readers must leave the Standard to sail 
peaceably, not toward London, where D'Artagnan and Por- 
thos believed they were going, but to Durham, whither 
Mordaunt had been ordered to repair by the letter he had 
received during his sojourn at Boulogne, and accompany us to 
the Royalist camp, on this side of the Tyne, near Newcastle. 

There, placed between two rivers on the borders of Scotland, 
but still on English soil, were the tents of a little army ex 
tended. It was midnight. Some Highlanders were care 
lessly keeping watch. The moon, which was partially 
obscured by two heavy clouds, now and then lit up the mus 
kets of the sentinels, or silvered the walls, the roofs, and the 
spires of the town that Charles I. had just surrendered to the 
parliamentary troops, while Oxford and Newark still held out 
for him, in the hopes of coming to some arrangement. 

At one of the extremities of the camp, near an immense 
tent, in which the Scottish officers were holding a kind of 
council, presided over by Lord Leven, lay their commander, 
a man attired as a cavalier, sleeping on the turf, his right 
hand extended over his sword. , 

About fifty paces off, another young man, also appareled as a 
cavalier, was talking, to a Scotch sentinel, and, though a 
foreigner, he seemed to understand, without much difficulty, 
the answers given him in broad Perthshire dialect. 

As the town clock of Newcastle struck one the sleepei 
awoke, and, with all the gestures of a man rousing himself 
out of a deep sleep, he looked attentively about him. Per 
ceiving that he was alone, he rose, and making a little circuit, 
passed close to the young man who was speaking to the sen* 
tinel. The former had, no doubt, finished his questions, 
for a moment after he said good-night, and carelessly fol 
lowed the &ame path taken by the first cavalier. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 331 

In the shadow of a tent the former was awaiting him. 

"Eh Men, mon cher ami," said he, in as pure French as 
has ever been uttered between Rouen and Tours. " Eh Men, 
mon ami ; there is not a moment to lose ; we must let the 
king know immediately." 

" Why, what is the matter?" 

"It is too long to tell you ; besides, you wish to hear it all 
directly, and the least word dropped here might ruin all. We 
must go and find Lord de Winter." 

They both set off to the other end of the camp, but as it 
did not cover more than a surface of five hundred feet, they 
quickly arrived at the tent they were looking for. 

" Tony, is your master sleeping ?" said one of the two 
cavaliers, to a servant who was lying in the outer compart 
ment, which served as a kind of anteroom. 

"No, Monsieur le Comte," answered the servant, "I 
think not ; or at least, he has not long been so, for he was 
pacing up and down for more than two hours after he left 
the king, and the sound of his footsteps has only ceased 
during the last ten minutes ; however, you may look and see," 
added the lackey, raising the curtained entrance of the 
tent. 

As he had said, Lord de Winter was seated near an aperture, 
arranged as a window to let in the night air, his eyes mechani 
cally following the course of the moon, hidden, as we before 
observed, by heavy black clouds. The two friends approached 
De Winter, who, leaning his head on his hand, was gazing at 
the heavens : he did not hear them enter, and remained in 
the same attitude till he felt a hand placed on his shoulder. 

He turned round, recognized Athos and Aramis, and held 
out his hand to them. 

" Have you observed," said he to them, "what a blood- 
red color the moon is to-night ?" 

"No," replied Athos; "I thought she looked much the 
same as usual." 

" Look again, chevalier," returned Lord de Winter. 

"I must own," said Aramis, " I am like the Count de la 
Fe're, I cannot see anything remarkable about it." 

"My lord;" said Athos, "in a position so precarious as 
ours, we must examine the earth, and not the heavens. Have 
you studied our Scotch troops, and have you confidence in 
them ?" 

"The Scotch?" inquired De Winter. "What Scotch?" 

" Ours ! Egad !" exclaimed Athos. " Those to whom the 
king has confided Lord Leveu's Highlanders." 



3&J TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

'* No/' said De Winter, then he paused ; " but tell me, can 
you not perceive the roseate tint which covers the heavens ?" 

"Not the least in the world/' said Aramie and Athos at 
once. 

" Tell me/' continued De Winter, always possessed by the 
same idea, " is there not a tradition in France that Henry 
IV., the evening before the day he was assassinated, when he 
was playing at chess with M. de Bassompierre, saw spots of 
blood on the chessboard/' 

"Yes," said Athos, "and the Marechal has often told me 
so himself." 

" Then it was so," murmured De Winter, " and the next 
day Henry IV. was killed." 

" But what has this vision of Henry IV. to do with you, 
my lord ?" inquired Aramis. 

" Nothing ; and, indeed, I am mad to amuse you with such 
things, when your coming to my tent at such an hour an 
nounces that you are the bearers of important news." 

" Yes, my lord," said Athos. " I wish to speak to the 
king." 

" To the king ! but the king is asleep." 

"I have something important to reveal to him." 

" Cannot that be put off till to-morrow ?" 

" He must know it this moment ; and, perhaps, it, is 
already too late." 

"Come, then," said Lord de Winter." 

Lord de Winter's tent was pitched by the side of the royal 
one; a kind of corridor communicating between the two. 
This corridor was guarded, not by a sentinel; but by a confi 
dential servant, through whom in any case of urgency Charles 
could communicate instantly with his faithful subject. 

" These gentlemen are with me," said De Winter. 

The lackey bowed and let them pass. As he had said, on 
a camp-bed/dressed in his black doublet, booted, unbelted, 
with his felt hat beside him, lay the king, overcome by sleep 
and fatigue. They advanced, and Athos, who was first to 
enter, gazed a moment in silence on that pale and noble face, 
encircled by his long and matted dark hair, the blue veins 
showing through his transparent skin; his eyes seemingly 
swollen by tears. 

Athos sighed deeply; the sigh awoke the king so lightly 
did he sleep. 

He opened his eyes. 

"Ah!" said he, raising himself on his elbow, "is it you, 
Count de la Fere?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 333 

" Yes, sire/' replied Athos. 

" You were watching me while I slept, and you come to 
bring me some news?" 

" Alas! sire," answered Athos, " your majesty has guessed 
rightly." 

" Then it is bad news?" 

"Yes, sire." 

"Never mind! the messenger is welcome, and you never 
come here without giving me pleasure. You, whose devotion 
recognizes neither country nor misfortune you, who are sent 
to me by Henrietta; whatever news you bring, speak out." 

"Sire, Cromwell has arrived this night at Newcastle." 

"Ah!" exclaimed the king, "to fight?" 

"No, sire, but to purchase your majesty!" 

"What did you say?" 

"I said, sire, that he owes four hundred thousand pounds 
to the Scottish army." 

" For unpaid wages yes, I know it. For the last year my 
faithful Highlanders have fought for honor alone." 

Athos smiled. 

"Well, sire! although honor is a fine thing, they are tired 
of fighting for it, and to-night they have sold you for two 
hundred thousand pounds that is to say, the half of what is 
owing to them." 

"Impossible!" cried the king; "the Scotch sell their king 
for two hundred thousand pounds?, and who is the Judas who 
has concluded this infamous bargain?" 

"Lord Leven." 

" Are you certain of it, sir?" 

" I heard it with my own ears." 

The king sighed deeply, as if his heart would break, and 
then buried his face in his hands. 

"Oh! the Scotch," he exclaimed "the Scotch that I 
called ' my faithful/ to whom I trusted myself, when I could 
have fled to Oxford the Scotch! my countrymen the 
Scotch! my brothers! But are you well assured of it, sir?" 

" Lying behind the tent of Lord Leven, I raised it, and 
saw all heard all!" 

"And when is this to be consummated?" 

"To-day, in the morning; so your majesty must perceive 
there is no time to lose!" 

" To do what? since you say I am sold." 

" To cross the Tyne, reach Scotland, rejoin Lord Montrose, 
who will not sell you." 

" And what shall I do in Scotland? a war of partisans, un 
worthy of a king. " 



334 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Robert Bruce's example will absolve you, sire." 

" No! no, I have fought too long; thoy have sold me, they 
shall give me up, and the eternal shame of their treason shall 
fall on their heads." 

" Sire," said Athos, "perhaps a king should act thus, but 
not a husband and a father. I have come in the name of your 
wife and daughter and two other children you have still in 
London, and I say to you, ' Live, sire, God wills it!' " 

The king raised himself, buckled on his belt, and passing 
his handkerchief over his moist forehead, said: 

" Well, what is to be done?" 

"Sire, you have in the army only one regiment on which 
you may rely." 

" De "Winter," said the king, " do you believe in the fidelity 
of yours?" 

"Sire, they are but men, and men are become both weak 
and wicked. I will not answer for them. I would confide 
my life to them, but I should hesitate ere I confided to them 
that of your majesty." 

"Well!" said Athos, "since you have not a regiment, we 
are three devoted men, we are enough. Let your majesty 
mount on horseback, and place yourself in the midst of us, 
and we will cross the Tyne, reach Scotland, and you are 
saved." 

'Is this your counsel also, De Winter?" inquired the king. 
Yes, sire!" 

'And yours, Monsieur d'Herblay?" 
Yes, sire!" 

' As you wish, then. De Winter, give all the necessary 
orders." 

Winter left the tent; in the meantime the king finished his 
toilette. The first rays of daybreak penetrated through the 
apertures of the tent as De Winter re-entered it. 

" All is ready, sire," said he. 

"For us also?" inquired Athos. 

" Grimaud and Blaisois are holding your horses, ready 
saddled." 

"In that case," exclaimed Athos, "let us not lose an 
instant in setting off." 

" Come," added the king. 

" Sire," said Aramis, " will not your majesty acquaint some 
of your friends of this?" 

"My friends!" answered Charles, sadly, " I have but three 
one of twenty years, who has never forgotten me, and two 
of a week's standing, whom I shall never forget. Come, 
gentlemen, come." 



TWENTY YEAK8 AFTER. 335 

The king quitted his tent, and found his horse ready wait 
ing for him. It was a chestnut that the king had ridden for 
three years, and of which he \yas very fond. 

The horse neighed with delight at seeing him. 

"Ah!" said the king, "I was uniust, here is a creature 
that loves me. You, at least, will be faithful to me, 
Arthur. " 

The horse, as if it had understood those words, bent its red 
nostrils toward the king's face, and parting its lips, displayed 
all its white teeth as if with pleasure. 

" Yes, yes," said the king, caressing it with his hand, "yes, 
my Arthur, thou art a good creature/' 

After this little scene, Charles threw himself into the saddle, 
and, turning to Athos, Aramis, and De Winter, said: 

" Now, gentlemen, I am at your service." 

But Athos was standing with his eyes fixed on a black line 
which bordered the banks of the Tyne, and seemed to extend 
double the length of the camp. 

" ^"hat is that line?" cried Athos, whose vision was still 
rather obscured by the uncertain light of daybreak. " What 
is that line? I did not perceive it yesterday." 

" It must be the fog rising from the river," said the king. 

" Sire, it is something more opaque than the fog." 

"Indeed," said De Winter. "It appears to me like a bar 
of red color." 

"It is the enemy, who have made a sortie from Newcastle, 
and are surrounding us!" exclaimed Athos. 

"The enemy!" cried the king. 

" Yes, the enemy. It is too late. Stop a moment; does 
not that sunbeam yonder, just by the side of the town, glitter 
on the Ironsides?" 

This is the name given to the cuirassiers whom Cromwell 
had made his body-guard. 

"Ah!" said the king, "we shall soon prove whether my 
Highlanders have betrayed me or not." 

" What are you going to do?" exclaimed Athos. 

" To give them the order to charge, and run down these 
miserable rebels." 

And the king, putting spurs to his horse, set off to the tent 
of Lord Leven. 

" Follow him," said Athos. 

"Come!" exclaimed Aramis. 

"Is the king wounded?" cried Lord de Winter. "I see 
spots of blood on the ground," and he set off to follow the 
two friendi. 



336 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

He was stopped by Athos. 

" Go and call out your regiment," said he, " I can foresee 
that we shall have need of it directly." 

De Winter turned his horse, and the two friends rode on. It 
had taken but two minutes for the king to reach the tent of 
the Scottish commander; he dismounted and entered. 

" The king!" they exclaimed, as they all rose in bewilder 
ment. 

Charles was indeed in the midst of them; his hat on his 
head, his brows bent, striking his boot with his riding-whip. 

" Yes, gentlemen, the king in person, the king who has 
come to ask some account of all that has happened." 

" What is it, sire?" exclaimed Lord Leven. 

" It is, sir," said the king angrily, " that General Crom 
well has arrived at Newcastle; that you knew it, and I have 
not been informed of it; that the enemy have left the town, 
and are now closing the passages of the Tyne against us; that 
our sentinels have seen this movement, and I have been left 
unacquainted with it. It is that, by an infamous treaty, you 
have sold me for two hundred thousand pounds to the parlia 
ment. Of this treaty at least I have been warned. This is 
the matter, gentlemen; answer and exculpate yourselves, for 
I stand here to accuse you." 

"Sire," said Lord Leven, with hesitation, "sire, your ma 
jesty has been deceived by a false report." 

" My own eyes have seen the enemy extend itself between 
myself and Scotland. With my own ears I have heard the 
clauses of the treaty debated." 

The Scotch chieftains looked at each other in their turn 
with frowning brows. 

" Sire," murmured Lord Leven, crushed down by shame; 
" sire, we are ready to give you every proof of our Qdelity." 

" I ask but one," said the king ; " put the army in battle 
array and face the enemy." 

" That cannot be, sire," said the earl. 

" How cannot be ? and what hinders it ?" exclaimed 
Charles. 

' Your majesty is well aware that there is a truce between 
us and the English army." 

" And if there is a truce the English army has broken it in 
leaving the town, contrary to the agreement which kept it 
there. Now, I tell you, you must pass with me through this 
army across to Scotland, and if you refuse, you may choose 
between two names which the contempt of all honest men 
will brand you with, you are either cowards or traitors 1" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER 337 

The eyes of the Scotch flashed fire ; and, as often happens 
on such occasions, from shame they passed to extreme 
effrontery, and two heads of clans advanced toward the king. 

" Yes," said they, " we have promised to deliver Scotland 
and England from him who for the last five-and-twenty years 
has sucked the blood and gold of Scotland and England. 
We have promised, and we will keep our promise. Charles 
Stuart, you are our prisoner." 

And both extended their hands as if to seize the king; but 
before they could touch him with the tips of their fingers 
both had fallen one dead and the other stunned. 

Aramis had passed his sword through the body of the first, 
and Athos had knocked down the other with the butt-end of 
his pistol. 

Then, as Lord Leven and the other chieftains retired, 
alarmed at this unexpected succor, which seemed to fall from 
heaven for him whom they believed alread-y their prisoner, 
Athos and Aramis dragged the king from the perjured 
assembly, into which he had so imprudently ventured, and 
throwing themselves on horseback, all three returned at full 
gallop to the royal tent. 

On their road they perceived Lord de Winter marching at 
the head of his regiment. The king motioned him to 
accompany them. 



CHAPTER LIV. 

THE AVENGER. 

THEY all four entered the tent ; they had no plan ready 
they must think of one. 

The king threw himself into an armchair. " I am lost," 
said he. 

"No, sire," replied Athos; "you are only betrayed." 

The king sighed deeply. 

" Betrayed ! yes betrayed by the Scotch, among whom 
I was born ; whom I have always loved better than the 
English. Oh, traitors that ye are !" 

" Sire," said Athos, " this is not a moment for recrimi 
nation, but the time to show yourself a king and a gentle 
man. Up, sire, up ! for you have here at least three men 
who will not betray you. Ah ! if we had been five 1" mur 
mured Athos, thinking of D'Artagnan and Porthos. 

" What are you saying ?" inquired Charles, rising. 
J 5 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



338 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" I said, sire, there is more than oue thing open. Lord de 
Winter answers for his regiment, or at least very nearly so 
we will not split straws about words let him place himself 
at the head of his men, we will place ourselves at the side of 
your majesty, and let us cut through Cromwell's army, and 
reach Scotland." 

" There is another method, " said Aramis. " Let one of 
us put on the dress, and mount the king's horse. While 
they pursue him the king might escape." 

"It is good advice," said Athos, " and if the king will do 
us the honor, we shall be truly grateful to him." 

" What do you think of this counsel, De Winter ?" asked 
the king, looking with admiration at these two men, whose 
chief idea seemed to be how they could take on their own 
shoulders all the dangers which threatened him. 

" I think that the only chance of saving your majesty has 
just been proposed by Monsieur d'Herblay. I humbly 
entreat your majesty to choose quickly, for we have not a 
moment to lose." 

"But if I accept, it is death, or at least imprisonment, for 
him who takes my place." 

"It is the glory of having saved his king," cried De 
Winter. 

The king looked at his old friend with tears in his eyes, 
undid the order of the Saint-Esprit which he wore, to honor 
the two Frenchmen wno were with him, and passed it round 
De Winter's neck, who received on his knees this striking 
proof of his sovereign's confidence and friendship. 

" It is right," said Athos ; " he has served your majesty 
longer than we have." 

The king overheard these words, and turned round, with 
tears in his eyes. 

" Wait a moment, sirs," said he ; " I have an order for 
each of you also." 

He turned to a closet where his own orders were locked up, 
and took out two ribbons of the Order of the Garter. 

" These cannot be for us?" said Athos. 

" Why not, sir?" asked Charles. 

"Such are for royalty, and we are simple commoners." 

"Speak not of crowned heads. I shall not find among 
them such great hearts as yours. No, no you do yourselves 
injustice; but I am here to do justice to you. On your knees, 
count." 

Athos knelt down, and the king passed the ribbon from 
left to right as usual, and said: " I make you a knight. Be 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 359 

brave, faithful, and loyal. You are brave, faithful, and 
loyal. I knight you, Monsieur le Comte." 

Then, turning to Aramis, he said: 

" It is now your turn, Monsieur le Chevalier." 

The same ceremony recommenced, with the same words, 
while De Winter unlaced his leather cuirass, that he might 
disguise himself like the king. Charles, having ended with 
Aramis the same as Athos, embraced them both. 

" Sire," said De Winter, who in this trying emergency felt 
all his strength and energy fire up, "we are ready." 

The king looked at the three gentlemen. " Then we must 
fly!" said he. 

" Fly through an army, sire?" said Athos. 

" Then I shall die sword in hand," said Charles. " Mon 
sieur le Comte, Monsieur le Chevalier, if ever I am king " 

" Sire, you have already honored us more than simple gen 
tlemen could ever aspire to, therefore gratitude is on our side. 
But we must not lose time; we have already wasted too 
much." 

The king again shook hands with all three, exchanged hats 
with De Winter, and went out. 

De Winter's regiment was ranged on some high ground above 
the camp. The king, followed by the three friends, turned 
his steps that way. The Scotch camp seemed as if at last 
awakened; the soldiers had come out of their tents, and taken 
up their station in battle array. 

"Do you see that?" said the king. "Perhaps they are 
penitent, and preparing to march." 

" If they are penitent," said Athos, " let them follow us." 

"Well," said the king, "what shall we do?" 

" Let us examine the enemy's army." 

At the same instant the eyes of the little group were fixed 
on the same line which at daybreak they had mistaken for 
fpg, and which the morning sun now plainly showed was an 
army in order of battle. The air was soft and clear, as it 
always is at this hour of the morning. The regiments, the 
standards, and even the colors of the horses and uniforms 
were now clearly distinct. 

On the summit of a rising ground, a little in advance of the 
enemy, appeared a short and heavy-looking man; this man 
was surrounded by officers. He turned a spy-glass toward 
the little group among which the king stood. 

" Does this man know your majesty personally?" inquired 
A mm is. 

Charles smiled. 



340 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"That man is Cromwell 1" said he. 

" Ah!" said Athos, " how much time we have lost." 

" Now," said the king, "give the word, and let us start." 

"Will you not give it, sire?" asked Athos. 

" No; I make you my lieutenant-general," said the king. 

"Listen, then, Lord de Winter. Proceed sire, I beg. 
What we are going to say does not concern your majesty." 

The king, smiling, turned a few steps back. 

" This is what I propose to do," said Athos. " We will 
divide our regiment into two squadrons. You will put your 
self at the head of the first; we and his majesty at the head 
of the second. If no obstacle occurs, TVC will both charge to 
gether, force the enemy's line, and throw ourselves into the 
Tyne, which we must cross, either by fording or swimming; 
if, on the contrary, any repulse should take place, you and 
your men must fight to the last man, while we and the king 
proceed on our road. Once arrived at the brink of the river, 
should we even find them three ranks deep, as long as you and 
your regiment do your duty, we will look to the rest." 

"To horse!" said Lord de Winter. 

"To horse!" re-echoed Athos; "all is arranged and de 
cided." 

"Now, gentlemen," cried the king, "forward! and rally to 
the old cry of France Montjoy and St. Denis. The war-cry 
of England is too often in the mouths of those traitors." 

The Scotch army stood motionless and silent with shame 
on viewing these preparations. 

Some of the chieftains left the ranks, and broke their 
swords in two. 

" There," said the king, "that consoles me; they are not 
all traitors." 

At this moment De Winter's voice was raised with the cry 
of " Forward !" 

The first squadron moved off; the second followed it, and 
descended from the platform. A regiment of cuirassiers, 
nearly equal as to numbers, issued from behind the hill, and 
came full gallop toward it. 

The king pointed this out. 

" Sire," said Athos, " we foresaw this, and if Lord de Win 
ter's men do their duty, we are saved instead of lost." 

At this moment they heard, above all the galloping and 
neighing of the horses, De Winter's voice crying out: 

"Sword in hand." 

At these words every sword was drawn, and glittered in the 
air like lightning. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 341 

"Now, gentlemen/' said the king in his turn, excited by 
this sight, and the sound of it, "come, gentlemen, sword in 
hand.* 5 

But Aramis and Athos were the only ones to obey this 
command, and the king's example. 

" We are betrayed/' said the king, in a low voice. 

"Wait a moment/' said Athos, "perhaps they do not 
recognize your majesty's voice, and await the order of their 
captain." 

"Have they not heard that of their colonel? But look' 
look!" cried the king, drawing up his horse with a sudden 
jerk, which threw it back on its haunches, and seizing the 
bridle of Athos' horse. 

"Ah, cowards! ah, traitors!" cried out Lord de Winter, 
whose voice they heard, while his men, quitting their ranks, 
dispersed all over the plain. 

About fifteen men were ranged around him, and awaited 
the charge of Cromwell's cuirassiers. 

"Let us go and die with them!" said the king. 

" Let us go," said Athos and Aramis. 

"All faithful hearts with me!" cried out De Winter. 

This voice was heard by the two friends, who set off at full 
gallop. 

" No quarter," cried out a voice in French, answering to 
that of De Winter, which made them tremble. 

It was the voice of a cavalier mounted on a magnificent 
black horse, who was charging at the head of the English 
regiment, of which, in his ardor, he was ten steps in 
advance. 

" 'Tis him!" murmured De Winter; his eyes glazed, and let 
ting his sword fall to his side. 

"The king! the king!" cried out several voices, deceived 
by the blue ribbon and chestnut horse of De Winter; " take 
him alive." 

" No! it is not the king!" exclaimed the cavalier. "Lord 
de Winter, you are not the king; you are my uncle." 

At the same moment. Mordaunt, for it was he, cocked 
his pistol at De Winter, the fire flashed, and the ball entered 
the heart of the old cavalier, who, with one bound on his 
saddle, fell back into the arms of Athos, murmuring, " He is 
revenged." 

" Think of my mother!" shouted Mordaunt, as his horse 
plunged and darted off at full gallop. 

" Wretch!" exclaimed Aramis, raising his pistol, as he 
passed by him; but the fire flashed in the pan, and did not 
go off 



342 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

At this moment the whole regiment came up, and they fell 
upon the few men who had held out, surrounding the two 
Frenchmen. Athos, after making sure that Lord de Winter 
was really dead, let fall the corpse, and said: 

" Come, Aramis, now for the honor of France," and the 
two Englishmen, who were the nearest to them, fell mortally 
wounded. 

At the same moment a fearful " hurrah!" rent the air, and 
thirty blades glittered above their heads. 

Suddenly a man sprang out of the English ranks, fell upon 
Athos, entwined his muscular arms around him, and tearing 
his sword from him, said in his ear: 

" Silence! yield yourself you yield to me, do you not?" 

A giant had seized also Aram is* two wrists, who struggled 
in vain to release himself from this formidable grasp. 

" D'Art " exclaimed Athos, while the Gascon covered 

his mouth with his hand. 

" 1 yield myself prisoner," said Aramis, giving up his sword 
to Porthos. 

"Fire, fire,*' cried out Mordaunt, returning to the group 
of friends. 

"And wherefore fire?" said the colonel; "every one has 
yielded." 

" It is the son of milady," said Athos to D'Artagnan. "I 
recognized him." 

" It is the monk," whispered Porthos to Aramis. 

" I know it." 

And now the ranks began to open. D'Artagnan held the 
bridle of Athos' horse, and Porthos that of Aramis. Both of 
them attempted to lead his prisoner off the battlefield. 

This movement revealed the spot where De Winter's body 
had fallen. Mordaunt had found it out, and was gazing at it 
with an expression of hatred. 

Athos, though now quite cool and collected, put his hand 
to his belt, where his loaded pistols still remained. 

" What are you about?" said D'Artagnan. 

"Let me kill him." 

" We are all four lost, if, by the least gesture, you discover 
that you recognize him." 

Then, turning to the young man, he exclaimed: 

" A fine prize! a fine prize, friend Mordannt; we have, both 
myself and Monsieur de Valon, taken two knights of the 
garter, nothing less." 

" But," said Mordaunt, looking at Athos and Aramis with 
bloodshot eyes, " these are Frenchmen, I imagine." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 343 

" I'faith, I don't know. Are you French, sir?" said he to 
Athos. 

" I am," replied the latter gravely. 

"Very well, my dear sir! you are the prisoner of a fellow 
countryman." 

" But the king where is the king?" exclaimed Athos 
anxiously. 

" Ah! we have got him." 

" Yes," said Aramis, " through an infamous act of treason." 

Porthos pressed his friend's hand, and said to him: 

" Yes, sir, all is fair in war stratagem as well as force. 
Look yonder." 

At this instant the squadron that ought to have protected 
Charles' retreat was advancing to meet the English regi 
ments. The king, who was entirely surrounded, walked 
alone on foot. He appeared calm, but it was evidently not 
without a great effort. Drops of perspiration rolled down his 
face; and from time to time he put a handkerchief to his 
mouth, to wipe off the blood that flowed from it. 

"Behold Nebuchadnezzar!" exclaimed an old Puritan 
soldier, whose eyes flashed at the sight of one whom he called 
the tyrant. 

"Do you call him Nebuchadnezzar?" said Mordaunt, with 
a terrible smile; " no, it is Charles the First, the king, the 
good king Charles, who despoils his subjects to enrich 
himself." 

Charles glanced a moment at the insolent creature who 
uttered this, but he did not recognize him. Nevertheless, 
the calm and religious dignity of his countenance abashed 
Mordaunt. 

" Bon jour, messieurs," said the king to the two gentle 
men who were held by D'Artagnan and Porthos. " The day 
has been unfortunate, but it is not your fault, thank God! 
But where is my old friend, De Winter?" 

The two gentlemen turned away their heads in silence. 

" Look for him with Strafford," said Mordaunt tauntingly. 

Charles shuddered. The demon had known how to wound 
him. The remembrance of Strafford was a source of lasting 
remorse to him, the shadow that haunted him by day and 
night. The king looked around him. He saw a corpse at 
his feet: it was De Winter's. He uttered not a word nor shed a 
tear, but a deadly pallor spread over his face; he knelt down 
on the ground, raised De Winter's head, and unfastening the 
order of the Saint-Esprit, placed it on his own breast. 

"Lord de Winter is killed, then?" inquired D'Artagnan, 
fixing his eyes on the corpse 



844 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

*' Yes," said Athoa, "by his own nephew." 

" Come, he was the first of us to go; peace be to him! he 
was an honest man," said D'Artagnan. 

" Charles Stuart," said the colonel of the English regi 
ment, approaching the king, who had just put on the insignia 
of royalty, " do you yield yourself a prisoner?" 

"Colonel Tomlinson," said Charles, "the king cannot 
yield! the man alone submits to force." 

" Your sword." 

The king drew his sword and broke it on his knee. 

At this moment a horse without a rider, covered with foam, 
his nostrils extended, and eyes all fire, galloped past, and 
recogiiizing his master, stopped and neighed with pleasure; it 
was Arthur. 

The king smiled, patted it with his hand, and then jumped 
lightly into the saddle. 

" Now, gentlemen," said he, " conduct me where you will." 

Turning back again, he said, "I thought I saw De Winter 
move; if he still lives, by all you hold most sacred, do not 
abandon him." 

"Never fear, King Charles," said Mordaunt, " the ball 
pierced his heart." 

" Do not breathe a word, nor make the least sign to me or 
Porthos," said D'Artagnan to Athos and Aramis, " that you 
recognize this man, for milady is not dead; her soul lives in 
the body of this demon." 

The detachment now moved toward the town with the 
royal captive; but on the road an aide-de-camp from Crom 
well sent orders that Colonel Tomlinson should conduct him 
to Holdenby Castle. 

At the same time couriers started in every direction over 
England and Europe, to announce that Charles Stuart was 
now the prisoner of Oliver Cromwell. 



CHAPTER LV. 

OLIVER CROMWELL. 

"HAVE you been to the general ?'* said Mordaunt to D'Ar 
tagnan and Porthos; " you know he sent for you after the 
action." 

" We went first to put our prisoners in a place of safety," 
replied D'Artagnan. " Do you know, sir, these gentlemen 
are each of them worth fifteen hundred pounds?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 345 

"Oh! be assured," said Mordaunt, looking at them with 
an expression he in vain endeavored to soften, " my soldiers 
will guard them and guard them well, I promise you." 

" I shall take better care of them myself," answered D'Ar- 
tagnan; "besides, all they require is a good room, with sen 
tinels, from which their parole is enough that they will not 
attempt to escape. I will go and see about that, and then 
we shall have the honor of presenting ourselves to your gen 
eral, and receiving his commands for his eminence." 

"You are thinking of starting soon, then?" inquired Mor 
daunt. 

" Our mission is ended, and there is nothing more to retain 
us now but the good pleasure of the great man to whom we 
have been sent." 

The young man bit his lips, and whispering to his sergeant: 

"You will follow these men, and not lose sight of them; 
when you have discovered where they lodge, come and await 
me at the town gate." 

The sergeant made a sign that he should be obeyed. 

Instead of following the mass of prisoners that were being 
taken into the town, Mordauut turned his steps toward the 
rising ground from whence Cromwell had witnessed the bat 
tle, and on which he had just had his tent pitched. 

Cromwell had given orders that no one was to enter it; but 
the sentinel who knew that Mordaunt was one of the most 
confidential friends of the general, thought the order did not 
extend to the young man. Mordaunt, therefore, raised the 
canvas, and saw Cromwell seated before a table, his head 
buried in his hands; his back was turned to him. 

Whether he heard Mordaunt or not as he entered, Cromwell 
did not move. Mordaunt remained standing near the door. 
At last, after a few moments, Cromwell raised his head, and, 
as if he divined that some one was there, he turned slowly 
round. 

" I said I wished to be alone!" he exclaimed, on seeing the 
young man. 

"They thought this order did not concern me, sir; never 
theless, if you wish it, I am ready to go." 

" Ah! it is you, Mordaunt," said Cromwell, the cloud pass 
ing away from over his face; " since you are here, it is well; 
you may remain." 

"I come to congratulate you." 

" To congratulate rne what for?" 

"On the capture of Charles Stuart. You are now master 
of England." 



346 TWSNTY YEARS AFTER. 

" I was much more really so two hours ago." 

"How so, general?" 

" Because England had need of me to tuke the tyrant, and 
now the tyrant is taken. Have you seen him?" 

" Yes, sir," said Mordaunt. 

" What is his bearing?" 

Mordaunt hesitated; but he seemed as if compelled to speak 
the truth. 

" Calm and dignified," said he. 

"What did he say?" 

"Some parting words to his friends." 

"His friends!" murmured Cromwell. "Has heany friends?" 
Then he added aloud: " Did he make any resistance?" 

" No, sir; with the exception of two or three friends, every 
one deserted him; he had no means of resistance." 

"To whom did he give up bis sword?" 

"He did not give it up he broke it." 

"He did well; but, instead of breaking it, he might have 
used it to more advantage." 

There was a momentary pause., 

" I heard that the colonel of the regiment that escorted 
Charles was killed?" said Cromwell, staring very fixedly at 
Mordaunt. 

"Yes, sir." 

"By whom?" inquired Cromwell. 

"By me." 

" What was his' name?" 

"Lordde Winter." 

" Your uncle?" exclaimed Cromwell. 

" My uncle," answered Mordaunt; " but traitors to Eng 
land are not of my family." 

Cromwell observed the young man a moment in silence, 
and then added: 

"Mordaunt, you are strong among the strong ones. And 
the Frenchmen, how did they behave?" 

"Most fearlessly.". 

"Yes, yes," murmured Cromwell; "the French fight 
well; and if my glass was good, and I mistake not, they were 
foremost in the fight." 

"They were," replied Mordaunt. 

" After you, however," said Cromwell. 

"It was the fault of their horses, not theirs." 

Another pause. 

"And the Scotch?" 

" They kept their word, and never stirred," said Mordaunt. 



TWKNTY YEARS AFTER. 347 

"Wretched men!" 

" Their officers wish to see yon, sir." 

" I have no time for them. Have they been paid?" 

"Yes, to-night." 

" Let them set off and return to their mountains, and 
there hide their shame, if their mountains are high enough. 
I have nothing more to do with them, or they with me. And 
now go, Mordaunt." 

" Before I go," said Mordaunt, " I have some questions 
and a favor to ask you, sir." 

"A favor from me?" 

Mordaunt bowed. 

" I come to you, my leader, my head, my father, and I ask 
you, master, are you contented with me?" 

Cromwell looked at him with astonishment. The young 
man remained immovable. 

"Yes," said Cromwell; "you have done, since I knew 
you, not only your duty, but more than your duty; you have 
been a faithful friend, a clever negotiator, and a good 
soldier." 

"Do you remember, sir, it was my idea, the Scotch treaty, 
for giving up the king?" 

" Yes, the idea was yours. I had not such a contempt for 
men before that." 

"Was I not a good ambassador in France?" 

"Yes, for Mazarin has granted what I desired." 

" Have I not always fought for your glory and interests?" 

" Too ardently, perhaps; it is what I have just reproached 
you for; but what is the meaning of all these questions?" 

" To tell you, my lord, that the moment has now arrived 
when, with a single word, you may recompense all these 
services. " 

"Oh!" said Oliver, with a slight curl of his lip, "I forgot 
that every service merits some reward, and that up to this 
moment you have served me for nothing." 

"Sir, you can give me in a moment all that I look for." 

"What is it? Have they offered you money? Do you 
wish a step? or some place in the government?" 

"Sir, will you grant me my request?" 

" Let us hear what it is first." 

" Sir, when you have told me to obey an order, have I ever 
inquired what it is fi-rst? I cannot tell you." 

" But a request made so formally " 

"Ah! do not fear, sir," said Mordauut, with apparent 
simplicity, "it will not ruin you." 



348 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Well, then," said Cromwell, " I promise, as far as lies in 
my power, to grant your request. Proceed." 

" Sir, two prisoners were taken this morning; will you let 
me liave them?" 

"For their ransom? Have they, then, offered a large 
one?" inquired Cromwell. 

"On the contrary, I think they are poor, sir." 

"They are friends of yours, then?" 

" Yes, sir," exclaimed Mordaunt, " they are friends, dear 
friends of mine, and I would lay down my life for them." 

"Very well, Mordaunt," said Cromwell, pleased at having 
his opinion of the young man raised once more, "I will give 
them to you; I will not even ask who they are do as you 
like with them." 

"Thank you, sir!" exclaimed Mordaunt, "thank you; my 
life is always at your sen ice, and should I lose it, I should 
still owe you something; thank you yon have, indeed, repaid 
me munificently for my services." 

And he threw himself at the feet of Cromwell; and in spite 
of the efforts of the Puritan general, who did not like this 
almost kingly homage, he took his hand and kissed it. 

" What !" said Cromwell, arresting him for a moment ar 
he rose, "is there nothing more you wish? neither gold nor 
rank?" 

" You have given me all you can give me, and from to-day 
your debt is paid." 

And Mordaunt darted out of the general's tent, his heart 
beating, and his eyes sparkling with joy. 

Cromwell gazed a moment after him. 

"He has killed his uncle!" he murmured. " Alas! what 
are my servants? Perhaps those who ask nothing, or seem to 
ask nothing, have asked more in the eyes of heaven than 
those who tax the country and steal the bread of the poor. 
Nobody serves me for nothing! Chafles, who is my prisoner,, 
may still have friends; but I have none!" 

And with a deep sigh he again sank into the reverie which 
had been interrupted by Mordaunt. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 349 

CHAPTER LVI. 

MAHOMET. 

WHILE Mordaunt was making his way to Cromwell's tent, 
D'Artagnan and Porthos had brought their prisoners to the 
house which had been assigned to them aa their dwelling at 
Newcastle. 

The two friends made the prisoners enter the house first, 
while they stood at the door, desiring Mousqueton to take all 
the four horses to the stable. 

"Why don't we go in with them?" asked Porthos. 

" We must first see what the sergeant wishes us to do," re 
plied D'Artagnan; and he then asked the sergeant his wishes. 

" We have had orders," answered the man, " to help you 
in taking care of your prisoners." 

There could be no fault found with this arrangement; on 
the contrary, it seemed to be a delicate attention to be re 
ceived gratefully. D'Artagnan, therefore, thanked the man, 
and gave him a crown piece, to drink to General Cromwell's 
health. 

The sergeant answered that Puritans never drank, and put 
the crown piece into his pocket. 

" Ah!" said Porthos, "what a fearful day, my dear D'Ar- 
taguan." 

" What! a fearful day, when we have to-day found our 
friends." 

" Yes; but under what circumstances?" 

"'Tis true that our position is an awkward one; but let os 
go in and see more clearly what is to be done." 

" Things look very bad," replied Porthos; "I understand 
now whv Aramis advised me to strangle that horrible Mor 
daunt."" 

" Silence!" cried the Gascon; "do not utter that name." 

" But," argued Porthos, " I speak French, and they are all 
English." 

D'Artagnau looked at Porthos with that air of wonder 
which a sensible man cannot help feeling at stupidity in every 
degree. 

But, as Porthos on his side could not comprehend his 
astonishment, he merely pushed him indoors, saying: "Let 
us go in." 

They found Athos in a profound despondency. Aramis 
looked first at Porthos and then at D'Artagnan, without 
speaking; but the latter understood his meaning look. 



350 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" You want to know how we came here; 'tis easily guessed. 
Mazarin sent us with a letter to General Cromwell." 

" But how came you to fall into company with Mordaunt, 
whom I bade you distrust?" asked Porthos. 

" Mazarin again. Cromwell had sent him to Mazarin. 
Mazarin sent us to Cromwell. There has been a fate in it." 

" Yes, you are right, D'Artaguan a fate which will sepa 
rate and ruin us; so, my dear Aramis, say no more about it, 
and let us prepare to submit to our destiny." 

"Zounds! let us speak about things, on the contrary! for 
we always agreed to keep on the same side; and here we are 
engaged in conflicting parties." 

"Yes," added Athos, "I now ask you, D'Artagnan, 
what side you are on? Ah! behold for what end the wretched 
Mazarin has made use of you. Do you know in what crime 
you are to-day concerned? In the capture of a king, in his 
degradation, in his death." 

" Oh! oh!" cried Porthos, "do you think so?" 

" You are exaggerating, Athos; we are not so far gone as 
that," replied the lieutenant. 

" Good heavens! we are on the very eve of it. I say why 
is the king taken prisoner? Those who wish to respect him 
as a master would not buy him as a slave." 

" I don't say to the contrary," said D'Artagnan. " But 
what's that to us? I am here because I am a soldier, and 
have to obey orders; I have taken an oath to obey, and I do 
obey; but you, who have taken no oath, why are you here, 
and what cause do you serve?" 

"That most sacred in the world," said Athos; " the cause 
of misfortune, of religion, of royalty. A friend, a wife, a 
daughter, have done us the honor to call us to their aid. We 
have served them to the best of our poor means, and God will 
recompense the will, and forgive the want of power: you may 
see matters differently, D'Artagnan, and think otherwise. I 
do not attempt to argue with you, but I blame you." 

"Heyday!" cried D'Artagnan; "what matters it to me, 
after all, if Cromwell, who's an Englishman, revolts against 
his king, who is a Scotchman? I am myself a Frenchman, I 
have nothing to do with these things why make me respon 
sible for them?" 

"Why you? Because you, D'Artagnan, a man sprung 
from the ancient nobility of France, bearing a good name, 
carrying a sword, have helped to give up a king to beersellers, 
shopkeepers, and wagoners. Ah! D'Artagnan! perhaps you 
have done your duty as a soldier, but, as a gentleman, I say 
that you are very culpable." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 351 

D'Artagnan was chewing the stalk of a flower, unable to 
reply, and very uncomfortable. 

" And you, Porthos you, a gentleman in manners in 
tastes in courage, are as much to blame as D'Artagnan." 

Porthos colored, and hanging his head, said: 

" Yes, yes, my dear count, I feel that you are right." 

Athos rose. 

" Come," he said, stretching out his hand to D'Artaguan, 
"come, don't be sullen, my dear son, for I have said all this 
to you, if not in the tone, at least with the feelings of a 
father. It would have been easier to me merely to have 
thanked you for preserving my life, and not to have uttered a 
word of all this." 

" Doubtless, doubtless, Athos. But this is it you have 
sentiments, the devil knows what, such as every one can't 
have. Who could suppose that a sensible man could leave his 
house in France his ward a charming youth for we saw 
him in the camp to fly to the aid of a rotten, worm-eaten 
royalty, which is going to crumble one of these days like an 
old cask? The sentiments you sport are certainly fine so 
6ue that they are superhuman." 

"However that may be, D'Artagnan," replied Athos, 
without falling into the snare which his Gascon friend 
had prepared for him by an appeal to his parental love, 
" whatsoever may be, you know, in the bottom of your 
heart, that it is true; but I am coming to dispute with 
my superiors. D'Artagnan, I am your prisoner treat me as 
such." 

D'Artagnan said nothing; but, after having gnawed the 
flower-stalk, he began to bite his nails. At last: 

" Do you imagine," he resumed, " that they mean to 
kill you? And wherefore should they do so? What 
interest have they in your death? Moreover, you are our 
prisoners." 

"Fool!" cried Aramis; "knowest thou not, then, Mor- 
daunt? 1 have merely exchanged with him one look, but that 
look convinced me that we were doomed." 

" The truth is, I'm very sorry that I did not strangle him 
as you advised me to do," said Porthos. 

" Stop," cried Athos, extending his hand to one of the 
grated windows by which the room was lighted; "you will 
soon know what to expect, for here he is." 

In fact, looking at the place to which Athos pointed, 
D'Artagnan saw a cavalier coming toward the house full 
gallop. 



352 TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 

It was Mordaunt. 

D'Artagnan rushed out of the room. 

Porthos wanted to follow him. 

" Stay," said D'Artaguan, " and do not come till you hear 
me beat like a drum with my fingers upon the door." 

When Mordaunt arrived opposite the house he saw D'Ar 
tagnan upon the threshold, and the soldiers lying on the grass, 
here and there, with their arms. 

" Halloo!" he cried, '" are the prisoners still there?" 

" Yes, sir," answered the sergeant, uncovering his head. 

" 'Tis well: order four men to conduct them to my 
lodging." 

Four men prepared to do so. 

" What do you want, sir?" asked D'Artaguan. 

" Sir," replied Mordaunt, " I have ordered the two 
prisoners that we made this morning to be conducted to my 
lodging." 

" Wherefore, sir? Excuse curiosity, but I wish to be en 
lightened on the subject." 

" Because these prisoners, sir, are at my disposal, and I 
choose to dispose of them as I like." 

" Allow me allow me, sir," said D'Artagnan, " to observe 
you are in error. The prisoners belong to those who took 
them, and not to those who only saw them taken. You might 
have taken Lord de Winter who, 'tis said, is your uncle 
prisoner, but you preferred killing him; 'tis well we, that is, 
Monsieur de Valon and I, could have killed our prisoners 
we preferred taking them." 

Mordaunt's very lips were white with rage. 

D'Artagnan now saw that affairs were growing worse, and 
he beat the guard's march upon the door. At the first beat 
Porthos rushed out, and stood on the other side of the door. 

This movement was observed by Mordaunt. 

"Sir!" he thus addressed D'Artagnan, "your resistance is 
useless these prisoners have just been given me by my 
illustrious patron, Oliver Cromwell." 

These words struck D'Artagnau like a thunderbolt. The 
blood mounted to his temples, his eyes became dim; he saw 
from what source the ferocious hopes of the young man arose. 
He put his hand to the hilt of his sword. 

As to Porthos, he looked inquiringly at D'Artagnan. 

This look of Porthos' made the Gascon regret that he had 
summoned the brute force of his friend to aid him in an affair 
which seemed to require chiefly cunning. 

" Violence," he said to himself, " would spoil all; D'Ai tag- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 353 

nan, my friend, prove to this young serpent that thou art not 
only stronger, but more subtle than he is." 

"Ah!" he said, making a low bow, "why did you not 
begin by saying that, Monsieur Mordauut? What! are you 
sent by General Oliver Cromwell, the most illustrious captain 
of his age?" 

" I have this instant left him," replied Mordaunt, alight 
ing, in order to give his horse to a soldier to hold. 

" Why did you not say so at once, my dear sir! all England 
is with Cromwell; and since you ask for my prisoners, I bend, 
sir, to your wishes. They are yours; take them." 

Mordaunt, delighted, advanced Porthos looking at D'Ar- 
tagnan with open-mouthed astonishment. Then D'Artagnan 
trod on his foot, and Porthos began to understand that this 
was all acting. 

Mordaunt put his foot on the first step of the door, and, 
with his hat in his hand, prepared to pass by the two friends, 
motioning to the four men to follow him. 

" But pardon me," he said, stopping short, " since the 
illustrious general has given my prisoners into your hands, he 
has of course confirmed that act in writing." 

Mordaunt stood still, then retreated cast a terrible glance 
at D'Artagnan, which was answered by the most amicable 
and friendly mien that could be imagined. 

" Speak out, sir," said Mordaunt. 

" Monsieur de Valon, yonder, is rich, and has forty thou 
sand francs yearly, so he does not care about money. I do not 
speak for him, but for myself." 

" Well, sir, what more?" 

"Well I I'm not rich. In Gascony 'tis no dishonor, 
sir, nobody is rich; and Henry IV., of glorious memory, who 
was the king of the Gascons, as his majesty Philip IV. is the 
king of the Spaniards, never had a penny in his pocket." 

" Go on, sir. I see where you wish to come to; and if it is 
what I think that stops you, I can obviate that difficulty." 

" Ah, I knew well," said the Gascon, " that you were a 
man of talent. Well, here's the case; here's where the saddle 
hurts me, as we French say. I am an officer of fortune, 
nothing else; I have nothing but what my sword brings me in 
that is to say, more blows than bank notes. Now, on tak 
ing prisoners this morning two Frenchmen, who seemed to 
me of high birth in short, two knights of the Garter I said 
to myself, my fortune is made." 

Mordaunt, completely deceived by the wordy civility of 
D'Artagnan, smiled like a man who understands perfectly 
the reasons given him, and said' 



354 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" I shall have the order signed directly, sir, and M'ith it 
two thousand pistoles; meanwhile, let me take these men 
away." 

" No," replied D'Artagnan; "what signifies a delay of 
half an hour? I am a man of order, sir^ let us do things in 
order." 

"Nevertheless/' replied Mordaunt, "1 could compel you; 
I command here." 

" Ah, sir!" said D'Artagnan, " I see that although we have 
had the honor of traveling in your company, you do not 
know us. We are gentlemen; we are, both of us, able to kill 
you and your eight men; we two only. For heaven's sake 
don't be obstinate, for when others are obstinate, I am obsti 
nate likewise, and then I become ferocious and headstrong; 
and there is my friend, who is even more headstrong and 
ferocious than I am; besides, we are sent here by Cardinal 
Mazarin, and at this moment represent both the king and the 
cardinal, and are therefore, as ambassadors, able to act with 
impunity, a thing that General Oliver Cromwell, who is as 
suredly as great a politician as he is a general, is quite a man 
to understand. Ask him then for the written order. What 
will that cost you, my dear Monsieur Mordauut?" 

" Yes, the written order," said Porthos, who now began to 
comprehend what D'Artagnan was aiming at, " nothing but 
that will satisfy us." 

However anxious Mordaunt was to have recourse to violence, 
he quite understood the reasons that D'Artagnan gave him; 
and, besides, completely ignorant of the friendship which ex 
isted between the four Frenchmen, all his uneasiness disap 
peared when he heard of the plausible motive of the ransom. 
He decided, therefore, not only to fetch the order, but the 
two thousand pistoles at which he estimated the prisoners. 
He therefore mounted his horse and disappeared. 

" Good!" thought D'Artagnan; "a quarter of an hour to 
go to the tent, a quarter of an hour to return:" then turning 
without the least change of countenance to Porthos, he said, 
looking him full in the face, " Friend Porthos, listen to this: 
first, not a syllable to either of our friends about the service 
we are going to render them." 

" Very well; I understand." 

" Go to the stable; you will find Mousqueton there. Saddle 
your horses, put your pistols in your saddle-bags, take out 
the horses, and lead them to the street below this, so that 
there will be nothing to do but to mount them; all the rest 
is my business/' 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 355 

Porthos made no remark, but obeyed, with the sublime confi 
dence that he had in his friend. He then proceeded, with his 
usual calm gait, to the stable, and went into the very midst 
of the soldiery, who, Frenchman, as he was, could not help 
admiring his height and the strength of his powerful limbs. 

At the corner of the street he met Mousqueton and took 
him with him. 

D'Artagnan, meantime, went into the house, whistling a 
tune which he had begun before Porthos went away. " My 
dear Athos, I have reflected on your arguments, and am con 
vinced. I am sorry to have had anything to do with this matter. 
As you say, Mazarin is a knave. I have resolved to fly with 
you; not a word; be ready; your swords are in the corner; 
do not forget them, they are, in many circumstances, very 
useful; there's Porthos' purse, too." 

He put it into his pocket. The two friends were perfectly 
stupefied. 

"Well pray is there anything to be so surprised at?" he 
said. "I was blind; Athos made me see clearly; that's all. 
Come here." 

The two friends went near him. , 

"Do you see that street? There are the horses. Go out 
by the door, turn to the right, jump into your saddles, all 
will be right; don't be uneasy at anything except mistaking 
the signal. That will be the signal when I call out 
'Mahomet!'" 

" But give us your word that you will come too, D'Artag 
nan/' said Athos. 

" I swear I will, by heaven!" 

" 'Tis settled," said Aramis; "at the cry, 'Mahomet.' we 
go out, upset all that stands in our way, run to our horses, 
jump into our saddles, spur them is that all?" 

"Exactly." 

" See Aramis, as I have told you, D'Artagnan is the best 
of us all," said Athos. 

" Very true," replied the Gascon, " but I always run away 
from compliments. Don't forget the signal Mahomet!" 
and he went out as he came in, whistling the air that he had 
been whistling when he came in. 

The soldiers were playing or sleeping; two of them were 
singing in a corner, out of time, the psalm " On the rivers 
of Babylon." 

D'Artagnan called the sergeant. "My dear friend. General 
Cromwell has sent Monsieur Mordaunt to fetch rue. Guard 
the prisoners well, I beg of you." 



356 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The sergeant made a sign, as much as to say he did not 
understand French, and D'Artagnan tried to make him com 
prehend him by signs and gestures. Then he went into the 
stable; he found the five horses and his own, among others, 
saddled. He gave his instructions, and Fortlios and Mousque- 
ton went to their post according to his directions. 

Then D'Artagnan, being alone, struck a light and lighted 
a small bit of the tinder, mounted his horse, and stopped at 
the door, in the midst of the soldiers. There, caressing, as 
he pretended, the animal with his hand, he put this bit of 
tinder, while burning, into his ear. 

It was necessary to be as good a horseman as he was to risk 
such a scheme; for hardly had the animal felt the burning 
tinder than he uttered a cry of pain, and reared and jumped 
as if he had been mad. 

The soldiers, whom he nearly trampled upon, ran away 
from him. 

"Help! help!" cried D'Artagnan; "stop, my horse has 
the staggers." 

In an instant blood came from his eyes, and he was white 
with foam. 

"Help!" cried D'Artagnan. "What! will you let me 
be killed? By Mahomet!" 

Scarcely had he uttered this cry than the door opened, and 
Athos and Aramis rushed out. The coast, owing to the 
Gascon's stratagem, was clear. 

" The" prisoners are escaping! the prisoners are escaping!" 
cried the sergeant. 

"Stop! stop!" cried D'Artagnan, giving rein to his famous 
steed, who, darting forth, overturned several men. 

" Stop! stop!" cried the soldiers, and ran for their arms. 

But the prisoners were on their saddles, and lost no time, 
hastening to the nearest gate. 

In the middle of the street they saw Grimaud and Blaisois, 
who were coming to find their masters. With one wave of 
his hand Athos made Grimaud, who followed the little troop, 
understand everything, and they passed on like a whirlwind, 
D'Artagnan still directing them from behind with his voice. 

They passed through the gate like apparitions, without the 
guards thinking of detaining them, and reached the open 
country. . 

All this while the soldiers were calling out "Stop! stop!" 
and the sergeant, who began to see that he was the victim of 
an artifice, was almost in a frenzy of despair: while all this 
was going on, a cavalier in full gallop was seen approaching. 
It was Mordaunt with the order in his hand. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 357 

"The prisoners!" he exclaimed, jumping off his horse. 

The sergeant had not the courage to reply; he showed him 
the open door and the empty room. Mordaunt darted to the 
steps understood all, uttered a cry as if his very heart were 
pierced, and fell fainting on the stone steps. 



CHAPTER LVII. 

IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN THAT UNDER THE MOST TRYING 
CIRCUMSTANCES NOBLE NATURES NEVER LOSE THEIR 
COURAGE, NOR GOOD STOMACHS THEIR APPETITES. 

THE little troop, without looking behind them, or ex 
changing a single word, fled at a rapid gallop, crossing on 
foot a little stream, of which none of them knew the name, 
and leaving on their left a town, which Athos declared to be 
Durham. At last they came in sight of a small wood, and 
spurring their horses afresh, they rode in the direction of it. 

As soon as they had disappeared behind a green curtain 
sufficiently thick to conceal them from the sight of any who 
might be in pursuit of them, they drew up to hold a council 
together. The two grooms held the horses, that they might 
take rest without being unsaddled, and Grimaud was posted 
as sentinel. 

"Come, first of all," said Athos to D'Artagnan, "my 
friend, that I may shake hands with you you, our rescuer; 
you, the true hero among us all." 

"Athos is right, and you have my admiration," said 
Aramis, in his turn pressing his hand; " to what are you not 
equal? with superior intelligence, and an infallible eye; an 
arm of iron, and an enterprising mind!" 

" Now," said the Gascon, " that is all well, I accept for 
Porthos and myself everything thanks and embracings we 
have plenty of time to lose." 

The two friends, recalled by D'Artagnan to what was also 
due to Porthos, pressed his hand in their turn. 

"And now," said Athos, "it is not our plan to run any 
where, and like madmen; but we must arrange some plan. 
What shall we do?" 

"What are we going to do, i'faith? It is not very difficult 
to say!" 

"Tell us then, D'Artagnau." 

"We are going to reach the nearest seaport, unite our 
little resources, hire a vessel, and return to France. As for 



358 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

me, I will give my last sou for it. Life is the greatest treas 
ure, and speaking candidly, ours is only held by a thread." 

" What do you say to this, De Valou?" 

" I," said Porthos " I am entirely of D'Artagnan's opin 
ion; this is a beastly country this England." 

" You are quite decided then to leave it?" asked Athos of 
D'Artagnan. 

" Egad! I don't see what is to keep me here." 

A glance was exchanged between Athos and Am mis. 

"Go, then, my friends/' said the former, sighing. 

"How, go then?" exclaimed D'Artagnan. "Let us go, 
you mean!" 

"No, my friend," said Athos, "you must leave us." 

" Leave you!" cried D'Artagnau, quite bewildered at this 
unexpected announcement. 

"Bah!" said Porthos, "why separate, since we are all to 
gether?" 

" Because you can, and you ought, to return to France; 
your mission is accomplished, but ours is not." 

" Your mission is not accomplished!" exclaimed D'Artag 
nan, looking in astonishment at Athos. 

" No, my good fellow," replied Athos, in his gentle, but 
decided voice, " we came here to defend King Charles; we 
have but ill defended him, it remains for us to save him." 

"To save the king?" said D'Artagnan, looking at Aramis 
as he had looked at Athos. 

Aramis contented himself by making a sign with his head. 

D'Artagnan's countenance took an expression of the deep 
est compassion; he began to think he had to do with two 
madmen. 

"You cannot be speaking seriously, Athos?" said he; 
"the king is surrounded by an army, which is conducting 
him to London. This army is commanded by a butcher, or 
the son of a butcher it matters little Colonel Harrison. 
His majesty, I can assure you, is about to be tried on his 
arrival in London; I have heard enough from the lips of Mr. 
Oliver Cromwell to know what to expect." 

A second look was exchanged between Athos and Aramis. 

" And when his trial is ended, there will be no delay in 
putting the sentence into execution," continued D'Artagnan. 

" And to what penalty do you think the king will be con 
demned?" asked Athos. 

" To the penalty of death, I much fear; they have gone 
too far for him to pardon them, and there is nothing left to 
them but one thing and that is to kill him. Do you not 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 359 

know Oliver CromwelFs speech when he came to Paris, and 
when he was shown the dungeon at Vincennes where Mon 
sieur de Vendome was imprisoned?" 

"What was the speech?" asked Porthos. 

" Princes must be knocked on the head." 

"I remember it," said Athos. 

" And you fancy he will not put his maxim into execution, 
now that he has hold of the king?" 

" On the contrary, I am certain he will do so; but then 
there is the more reason why we must not abandon the august 
head so threatened." 

"Athos, you are becoming mad." 

"Well, you know beforehand that you must perish!" said 
D'Artagnan. 

" We fear so, and our only regret is, to die so far from you 
both." 

" What will you do in a foreign land an enemy's coun 
try?" 

" I have traveled in England when young I speak English 
like an Englishman and Aramis, too, knows something of 
the language. Ah! if we had you, my friends! With you, 
D'Artagnan, with you, Porthos all four, and reunited for 
the first time for twenty years we would dare, not only 
England, but the three kingdoms together!" 

" And did you promise the queen," resumed D'Artaguan 
petulantly, " to storm the Tower of London with a hundred 
thousand soldiers, to fight victoriously against the wishes of a 
nation and the ambition of a man, and when that man is 
called Cromwell? Do not exaggerate your duty. In heaven's 
name, my dear Athos, do not make a useless sacrifice. When 
I see you merely, you look like a reasonable being; when you 
speak, I seem to have to do with a madman. Come, Por 
thos, join me; say, frankly, what do you think of this busi 
ness?" 

" Nothing good," replied Porthos. 

"Come," continued D'Artagnan, who, irritated, that in 
stead of listening to him, Athos seemed to be attending to his 
own thoughts, " you have never found yourself the worse for 
my advice. Well, then, believe me, Athos, your mission is 
ended, and ended nobly return to France with us." 

" Friend," said Athos, " our resolution is unchangeable." 

" Then you have some other motive unknown to us?" 

Athos smiled, and D'Artagnan struck his heels in anger, 
and muttered the most convincing reasons that he could dis 
cover; but to all these reasons Athos contented himself by 



360 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

replying with a calm, sweet smile, and Aramis by nodding 
his head. 

" Very well," cried D'Artagnan at lust, furious, " very well, 
since you wish it, let us leave our bones in this beggarly land, 
where it is always cold where the fine weather comes after a 
fog, and a fog after rain and the rain after the deluge 
where the sun represents the jnoon, and the rnoon a cream 
cheese; in truth, whether we die here or elsewhere, matters 
little, since we must die." 

" Only reflect, my good fellow," said Athos, " it is but 
dying rather sooner." 

"Pooh! a little sooner, or a little later, that isn't worth 
quarreling about." 

"But your future career, D'Artagnau your ambition, 
Porthos?" 

" Our future, our ambition," cried D'Artagnan, with fev 
erish volubility; " need we think of that since we are to save 
the king? The king saved we shall assemble our friends 
together we will head the Puritans re-conquer England; 
we shall re-enter London place him securely on his 
throne " 

" And he will make us dukes and peers/' said Porthos, 
whose eyes sparkled with joy at this imaginary prospect. 

" Or he will forget us," added D'Artagnan. 

" Well, then," said Athos, offering his hand to D'Artagnan, 

"'Tis settled," replied D'Artaguan. " I find England a 
charming country, and I stay but only on one condition." 

" What is it?" 

" That I am not forced to learn English!" 

" Well, then, now," said Athos triumphantly, " I swear to 
you, my friend, by the God who hears us, I believe that there 
is a power watching over us, and I hope we shall all four meet 
in France." 

"So be it!" said D'Artagnau, "but I I confess I have 
quite a contrary conviction." 

" Our good D'Artagnan," said Aramis, " represents among 
us the opposition in parliament, which says always no, and 
does always ay." 

"'But which in the meantime saves the country," added 
Athos. 

" Well, now that everything is decided," cried Porthos, 
rubbing his hands, "suppose we think of dinner! It seems 
to me that in the most critical positions of our lives we have 
always dined." 

"Oh! yes, speak of dinner in a country where for a feast 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 361 

they eat boiled mutton, and where as a treat they drink beer. 
What the devil did you come to such a country for, Athos?" 

"But, I forgot/' added the Gascon, smiling, '-'pardon, I 
forgot you are no longer Athos; but never mind, let us hear 
your plan for dinner, Porthos." 

"My plan!" 

" Yes; have you apian?" 

"No! I am hungry, that is all." 

" Pardieu, if that is all, I am hungry too; but it is not every 
thing to be hungry; one must find something to eat, unless 
we browse on the grass, like our horses " 

"Ah!" exclaimed Aramis, who was not quite so indifferent 
to the good things of the earth as Athos, " do you remember, 
when we were at Gravesend, the beautiful oysters that we 
ate?" 

" And the legs of mutton of the salt marshes," said Por 
thos, smacking his lips. 

" But," suggested D'Artagnan, " have we not our friend 
Mousqueton, he who managed for us so well at Chan til ly, 
Porthos?" 

" By the by," said Porthos, " we have Mousqueton, but 
since he has been steward, he has become very heavy; never 
mind, let us call him; and to make sure that he will reply 
agreeably Here! Mouston," cried Porthos. 

Mouston appeared, with a very piteous face. 

" What is the matter, my dear Mr. Mouston?" asked D'Ar- 
tagnan. "Are you ill?" 

" Sir, I am very hungry!" replied Mouston. 

" Well, it is just for that reason that we have called you, 
my good Mr. Mouston. Could you not procure us a few of 
those nice little rabbits and some of those delicious part 
ridges, of which you used to make fricassees at the hotel ? 

Faith, I do not remember the name of the hotel." 

" At the hotel of ," said Porthos, " by my faith nor 

do I remember it either." 

" It does not matter; and a few of those bottles of old 
Burgundy wine, which cured your master so quickly of his 
sprain!" 

"Alas! sir," said Mousqueton, "I much fear that what 
you ask for are very rare things in this frightful country, and 
I think we should do better to go and seek hospitality from 
the owner of a little house that we see at the extremity of 
the wood." 

"How! is there a house in the neighborhood?" asked 

D'Artaguan. 

16 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Yes, sir!" replied Mousqueton. 

" Well, let us, as yon say, go and ask a dinner from the 
master of that house. What is your opinion, gentlemen, and 
does not Mr. Houston's suggestion appear to you full of 
sense?" 

"Oh! oh!" said Aramis, "suppose the master is a Puritan?" 

"So much the better, Mordioux!" replied D'Artagnan; 
" if he is a Puritan, we will inform him of the capture of the 
king, and in honor of the news he will kill for us his white 
hens." 

" But if he should be a cavalier?" said Porthos. 

" In that case, M r e will put on an air of mourning, and we 
will pluck his black fowls." 

"You are very happy," exclaimed Athos, laughing in spite 
of himself, at the sally of the irresistible Gascon; * for you 
see the bright side of everything." 

" What would you have?" said D'Artagnan. " I come 
from a land where there is not a cloud in the sky." 

" It is not like this, then," said Porthos, stretching out his 
hand to assure himself whether a sensation of freshness 
which Jie had just felt on his cheek was not really caused by 
a drop of rain. 

"Come, come," said D'Artaguan, "more reason why we 
should start on our journey holloa, Grimaud!" 

Grimaud appeared. 

"Well, Grimaud, my friend, have you seen anything?" 
asked the Gascon. 

" Nothing!" replied Grimaud. 

" Those idiots! cried Porthos, " they have not even pur 
sued us. Oh! if we had been in their place!" 

" Yes, they are wrong," said D'Artagnan. " I would will 
ingly have said two words to Mordauut in this little Thebes. 
See what a nice place for bringing down a man properly." 

"I think, decidedly," observed Aramis, "gentlemen, that 
the son is not so bad as his mother." 

"What, my good fellow!" replied Athos; "wait awhile, 
we have scarcely left him two hours ago he does not know 
yet in what direction we came, nor where we are. We may 
say that he is not equal to his mother when we put foot in 
France, if we are not poisoned nor killed before then." 

" Meanwhile, let us dine," suggested Porthos. 

"I'faith, yes!" said Athos, "for I am very hungry." 

" Look out for the black fowls!" cried Aramis. 

And the four friends, guided by Mousquetou, took up the 
way toward the house, already almost restored to their 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 363 

former gayety; for they were now, as Athos had said, all four 
united and of one mind. 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

RESPECT TO FALLEN MAJESTY. 

As OUR fugitives approached the house, they found the 
ground cut up, as if a considerable body of horsemen had 
preceded them. Before the door, the traces were yet more 
apparent; these horsemen, whoever they might be, had 
halted there. 

"Egad!" cried D'Artagnan, "it's quite clear that the 
king and his escort have been by here." 

He pushed open the door, and found the first room empty 
and deserted. 

"Well!" cried Porthos. 

" I can see nobody," said D'Artagnan. " Aha!" 

"What?" 

"Blood!" 

At this word the three friends leaped from their horses and 
entered. D'Artagnan had already opened the door of the 
second room, and, from the expression on his face, it was clear 
that he there beheld some extraordinary object. 

The three friends drew near, and discovered a young man 
stretched on the ground, and bathed in a pool of blood. It 
was evident that he had attempted to regain his bed, but had 
not had the strength to do so. 

Athos, who imagined that he saw him move, was the first 
to go up to him. 

" Well?" inquired D'Artagnan. 

"Well, if he is dead," said Athos, "he has not been so 
long, for he is still warm. But no, his heart is beating. Eh! 
there, my friend." 

The wounded man heaved a sigh. D'Artagnan took some 
water in the hollow of his hand, and threw it upon his face. 
The man opened his eyes, made an effort to raise his head, 
and fell back again. The wound was in the top of the skull, 
and the blood was flowing copiously. 

Aramis dipped a cloth in some water, and applied it to the 
gash. Again the wounded man opened his eyes, and looked 
in astonishment at these strangers, who appeared to pity him. 

"You are among friends," said Athos, in English; "so 
cheer up, and tell us, it you have the strength to do so, what 
has happened." 



3f)4 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"The king," muttered the wounded man, " the king is a 
prisoner/' 

"Make your mind easy," resumed Athos, "we are all 
faithful servants of his majesty." 

"Is what you tell me true?" asked the wounded man. 

" On our honor as gentlemen." 

" Then I may tell you all. I am the brother of Parry, his 
majesty's lackey." 

Athos and Aramis remembered that this was the name by 
which De Winter had called the man whom they had found 
in the passage of the king's tent. 

" We know him," said Athos; " he never left the king." 

" Yes, that is he; well, he thought of me, when he saw 
that the king was taken, and as they were passing before the 
house here, he begged in the king's name that they would 
stop, as the king was hungry. They brought him into this 
room, and placed sentinels at the doors and windows. Parry 
knew this room, as he had often been to see me when the 
king was at Newcastle. He knew that there was a trap-door 
communicating with a cellar, from which one could get into 
the orchard. He made me a sign, which I understood, but 
the king's guards must have noticed it, and put themselves 
on their guard. 1 went out, as if to fetch wood, passed 
through the subterranean passage into the cellar, and while 
Parry was gently bolting the door, pushed up the board, and 
beckoned to the king to follow me. Alas! he would not. 
But Parry clasped his hands and implored him, and at last he 
agreed. I went on first, quite delighted. The king was a 
few steps behind me, when suddenly 1 saw something rise up 
in front of me, like a huge shadow. I wanted to cry out to 
warn the king, but the same moment I felt a blow as if the 
house was falling on my head, and fell insensible. When I 
came to myself again, I was stretched in the same place. I 
dragged myself as far as the yard. The king and his escort 
were gone." 

" And now what can we do for you?" asked Athos. 

" Help me to get on to the bed; that will ease me." 

They helped him on to the bed, and, calling Grimaud to 
dress his wound, returned to the outer room to consult. 

" Now," said Aramis, " we know how the matter stands. 
The king and his escort have gone this way; we had bettei 
take the opposite direction, eh?" 

" Yes," said Porthos; "if we follow the escort we shall 
find everything devoured, and die 01 hunger. What a con 
founded country this England is! This is the first time I 
shall have lost my dinner, and it's my best meal." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 365 

"What do you say about it, D'Artagnan," said Athos. 

"Just the contrary to Aramis." 

" What! follow the escort?" cried Porthos, quite alarmed. 

"No, but join them. They will never look for us among 
the Puritans-!" 

" A good idea," said Athos, " they will think we want to 
leave England, and seek us in the ports. Meanwhile we shall 
reach London with the king, and, once there, it is not diffi 
cult to4X>nceal one's self." 

" But, ' said Aramis, " sha'n't we be suspected by Colonel 
Harrison ?" 

" Egad !" cried D'Artagnan, " he's just the man I count 
upon. Colonel Harrison is one of our friends. We have met 
him twice at General Cromwell's. He knows that we were 
sent from France by Monsieur Mazarin; he will consider us 
as brothers. Besides, is he not a butcher's son! Well, then, 
Porthos will show him how to knock down an ox with a blow 
of the fist; and I, how to trip up a bull by taking him by the 
horns. That will ensure his confidence." 

Athos smiled. 

At this moment Grimaud came in. He had stanched the 
wound and the man was better. 

The little troop recommenced their march, and, at the end 
of two hours, perceived a considerable body of horsemen 
about half a league ahead. 

" My dear friends," said D'Artagnan, "give your swords to 
Monsieur Mouston, who will return them to you in proper 
time and place, and do not forget you are our prisoners." 

It was not long ere they joined the escort. The king was 
in the front, surrounded by troopers, and when he saw Athos 
and Aramis a glow of pleasure lighted up his pale cheeks. 

D'Artagnau passed to the head of the column, and, leaving 
his friends under the guard of Porthos, went straight to 
Harrison, who recognized him as having met him at Crom 
well's, and received him as politely as a man of his breeding 
and disposition could. It turned out as D'Artagnan had fore 
seen. The colonel neither had nor could have any suspicion. 

They halted for the king to dine. This time, ho ever, 
due precautions were taken to prevent any attempt at escape. 
In the large room of the hotel a small table was placed for 
him, and a large one for the officers. 

" Will you dine with me?" asked Harrison of D'Artagnan. 

" Gad, I should be very happy, but I have my companion, 
Monsieur de Valon, and the two prisoners, whom I cannot 
leave. Let us manage it better. Have a table set for us in 
a corner, aad hand us whatever you like from yours." 



366 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Good," answered Harrison. 

The table at which the Puritan officers were seated was 
round, and whether by chance or a coarse intention, Harrison 
had his back turned to the king. 

The king saw the four gentlemen come in, but appeared to 
take no notice of them. 

They sat down in such a manner as to turn their backs 
upon nobody. 

" Ffaith, colonel," said D'Artagnan, " we are very^grateful 
for your gracious invitation; for, without you, we ran the 
risk of going without dinner, as we have without breakfast. 
My friend here, Monsieur de Valou, shares my gratitude, 
for he was particularly hungry." 

" And I am so still," said Porthps, bowing to Harrison. 

" And how," said Harrison, laughing, " did this serious 
calamity of going without breakfast happen to you?" 

" In a very simple manner, colonel," said D'Artagnan. '"I 
was in a hurry to join you, and took the road you had 
already gone by. You can understand our disappointment 
when, arriving at a pretty little house on the skirts of a 
wood, which at a distance had quite a gay appearance with 
its red roof and green shutters, we found nothing but a poor 

wretch bathed Ah! colonel, pay my respects to the 

officer of yours who struck that blow. 

"Yes, said Harrison, laughing, and looking over at one of 
the officers seated at his table. " When Groslow undertakes 
this kind of thing, there's no need to go over the ground 
after him." 

"Ah! it's that gentleman?" said D'Artagnan, bowing to 
the officer. " I am sorry he does not speak French, that I 
might offer him my compliments." 

"I am ready to receive and return them, sir," said the 
officer, in pretty good French. "For I resided three years 
in Paris." 

" Then, sir, allow me to assure you that your blow was so 
well directed that you have nearly killed your man." 

"Nearly? I thought it was quite," said Groslow. 

"No. It was a very near thing, but he is not dead." 

As he said this, D'Artagnan gave a glance at Parry, who 
was standing in front of the king, to show him that the news 
was meant for him. 

The king, too, who had listened in the greatest agony, 
now breathed again. 

"Hang it," said Groslow, "I thought I had succeeded 
better. If it were not so far from here to the house, I would 
return and finish him." 






TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 36? 

" And you would do well, if you are afraid of his recover 
ing; for you know, if a wound in the head does not kill at 
once, it is cured in a week." 

And D'Artagnan threw a second glance toward Parry, on 
whose face such an expression of joy was manifested that 
Charles stretched out his hand to him, smiling. 

Parry bent over his master's hand, and kissed it respectfully. 

" I have a great desire to drink the king's health/' said 
Athos. 

" Let me propose it, then," said D'Artagnan. 

Porthos looked at D'Artagnan, quite amazed at the re 
sources with which his companion's Gascon sharpness con 
tinually supplied him. 

D'Artagnau took his tin cup, filled it, and rose. 

"Gentlemen," said he, "Let us drink to him who presides 
at our repast. Here's to our colonel, and let him know that 
we are always at his commands, as far as London, and 
further." 

And as D'Artagnan, as he spoke, looked at Harrison, the 
colonel imagined the toast was for himself. He rose and 
bowed to the four friends, whose eyes were fixed on Charles, 
while Harrison emptied his glass without the slightest mis 
giving. 

The king, in return, looked at the four gentlemen, and 
drank, with a smile full of nobleness and gratitude. 

"Come, gentlemen," cried Harrison, quite regardless of 
his illustrious captive, " let us be off. " 

"Where do we sleep, colonel?" 

" At Thirsk," replied Harrison. 

" Parry," said the king, rising too, " my horse; I desire to 
go to Thirsk." 

"Egad," said D'Artaguau to Athos; "your king has 
thoroughly taken me, and I am quite at his service." 

" If what you say is sincere," replied Athos, " he will 
never reach London." 

"How so?" 

" Because, before then, we shall have carried him off." 

" Well, this time, Athos," said D'Artagnau, " upon my 
word you are mad." 

"Have you some plan in your head, then?" asked Aramis. 

" Ay," said Porthos, " the thing would not be impossible 
with a good plan." 

" I have none," said Athos, " but D'Artagnan will discover 
one." 

D'Artagnau shrugged his shoulders and went on. 



368 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

CHAPTER LIX. 

D'ARTAGNAN HITS ON A PLAN. 

As NIGHT closed in they arrived at Thirsk. 

D'Artagnan was thoughtful, and seemed for the moment to 
have lost his usual loquacity. Porthos, who could never see 
anything that was not self-evident, talked to him as usual. 
He replied in monosyllables, and Athos and Arumis looked 
significantly at one another. 

Next morning, D'Artagnan was the first to rise. He had 
gone down to the stables, had already had a look at the 
horses, and given all the necessary orders for the day, while 
Athos and Aramis were still in bed, and Porthos snoring. 

At eight o'clock, the march was resumed in the same order 
as the night before, except that D'Artagnan left his friends 
and began to renew the acquaintance which he had already 
struck up with Monsieur Groslow. 

"Really, sir," D'Artagnan said to him, " I am happy to 
find some one with whom to talk in my own poor, tongue. 
My friend, Monsieur de Valou, is of a very melancholy dis 
position so much so, that one can scarcely get three words a 
day out of him. As for our two prisoners, you can imagine 
that they are but little in the humor for conversation." 

" They are hot Royalists," said Groslow. 

" The more reason they should be sulky with us for having 
captured the Stuart, for whom, I hope, you are preparing a 
pretty trial." 

"Why," said Groslow, " that's just what we are taking him 
to London for." 

" And you don't lose sight of him, I presume?" 

" I should think not, indeed. You see he has a truly royal 
escort." 

" Ay, there's no fear in the daytime; but at night." 

" We double our precautions." 

" And what method of surveilla ce do you employ?" 

" Eight men remain constantly in his room." 

" The deuce, he is well guarded then. But, besides these 
eight men, you doubtless place some guard outside?" 

" Oh, no! Just think. What would you have two men 
without arms do against eight armed men?" 

" Two men how do you mean?" 

" Yes, the king and his lackey." 

" Oh! then they allow the lackey to remain with him?" 

" Yes; Stuart begged for this favor, and Harrison con- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 309 

sented. Under pretence that he's a king, it appears he can 
not dress or undress without assistance." 

" Keally, captain," said D'Artagnan, determined to con 
tinue on the laudatory tack on which he had commenced 
" the more I listen to you, the more surprised I am at the 
easy and elegant manner in which you speak French. You 
have lived three years in Paris? May I ask what you were 
doing there?" 

" My father, who is a merchant, placed me with his cor 
respondent, who, in turn, sent his son to my father's." 

" Were you pleased with Paris, sir?" 

" Yes, but you are much in want of a revolution like ours; 
not against your king, who is merely a child, but against 
that lazar of an Italian, the queen's favorite." 

" Ah! I am quite of your opinion, sir; and we should soon 
make an end of Mazarin, if we had only a dozen officers like 
yourself, without prejudices, vigilant, and incorruptible." 

" But," said the officer, " I thought you were in his serv 
ice, and that it was he who had sent you to General 
Cromwell?" 

" That is to say I am in the king's service, and that know 
ing he wanted to send some one to England, I solicited the 
appointment, so great was my desire to know the man of 
genius who now governs the three kingdoms. So that when 
he proposed to us to draw our swords in honor of Old Eng 
land, you see how we snatched at the proposition." 

"Yes, I know that you charged by the side of Mordaunt." 

"On his right and left, sir. Ah! that's another brave and 
excellent young man." 

" Do you know him?" asked the officer. 

" Yes, very well. Monsieur de Valon and myself came 
from France with him." 

" It appears, too, you kept him waiting a long time at 
Boulogne. 

" What would you have? I was like you, and had a king 
; .n keeping." 

"Aha!" said Groslow; " what king?" 

"Our own, to be sure the little one. Louis XIV." 

"And how long had you to take care of him?" 

"Three nights; and, by my troth, I shall always remember 
those three nights with pleasure." 

" How do you mean?" 

"I mean that my friends, officers in the guards and 
'Mousquetaires,' came to keep me company, and we phased 
the night in eating and play." 



370 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Ah! true," said the Englishman, with a sigh, "you 
Frenchmen are jovial boon companions." 

"And don't you play, too, when you are on guard?" 

" Never," said the Englishman. 

" In that case you must be horribly bored, and I pity you." 

" The fact is, I look to my turn for keeping guard with 
horror. It's tiresome work to keep awake a whole night." 

"Yes; but with a jovial partner, and the gold and dice 
rolling on the table, the night passes like a dream. You 
don't like playing then?" 

" On the contrary, I do." 

"Lansquenet, for instance?" 

" I'm devoted to it. I used to play almost every night in 
France." 

" And since your return to England?" 

" I have not handled a single card or dice-box." 

"I sincerely pity you," said D'Artagnan, with an air of 
profound compassion. 

" Look here," said the Englishman. 

"Well?" 

" To-morrow I am on guard." 

"In Stuart's room?" 

"Yes; come and pass the night with me?" 

" Impossible!" 

"Impossible! why so?" 

"I play with Monsieur de Valon every night. Sometimes 
we don't go to bed at all." 

" Well, what of that?" 

"Why, he would be annoyed if I did not play with him?" 

"Does he play well?" 

" I have seen him lose as much as two thousand pistoles 
laughing all the while till the tears rolled down." 

" Bring him with you, then." 

" But how about our prisoners?" 

" Let your servants guard them." 

" Yes, and give them a chance of escaping," said D'Artag 
nan. " Why, one of them is a rich lord from Touraine, 
and the other a knight of Malta, of noble family. We have 
arranged the ransom of each of them 2,000 on arriving in 
France." 

" Aha!" exclaimed Groslow. " But come," he continued, 
"are they dangerous men?" 

" In what respect?" 

" Are they capable of attempting violence?" 

D'Artagnan burst out laughing at the idea. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 371 

"Well, then," said Groslow, " bring them with you." 

" But really :> said D'Artagnan. 

" I have eight men on guard, you know. Four of them 
can guard the king, and the other four your prisoners. I 
shall manage it somehow, you will see." 

" But," said D'Artagnan, "now I think of it what is to 
prevent our beginning to-night?" 

"Nothing aTall," said Groslow. 

" Just so. Come to us this evening, and to-morrow we'll 
return your visit." 

"Capital! This evening with you, to-morrow at Stuart's, 
the next day with me." 

" You see one can lead a merry life everywhere," said D'Ar 
tagnan. 

" Yes, with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen like you." 

"And Monsieur de Valon," added the other. "You will 
see what a fellow he is; a man who nearly killed Mazarin be 
tween two doors. They employ him because they are afraid 
of him. Ah, there he is, calling me now. You'll excuse me, 
I know." 

They exchanged bows, and D'Artagnan returned to his 
companions. 

" What on earth can you have been saying to that bull 
dog?" exclaimed Porthos. 

" My dear fellow, don't speak like that of Monsieur Gros 
low. He's one of my intimate friends. 

"One of your friends!" cried Porthos; " this butcherer of 
peasants!" 

"Hush! my dear Porthos. Monsieur Groslow is perhaps 
rather quick, it's true, but at bottom I have discovered good 
qualities in him. He is conceited and stupid." 

Porthos opened his eyes in amazement; Athos and Aramis 
looked at one another and smiled. 

" But," continued D'Artagnan, " you shall judge of him 
for yourself. He is coming to play with us this evening." 

" Oho!" said Porthos, his eyes glistening at the news. " Is 
he rich?" 

" He's the son of one of the wealthiest merchants in 
London." 

'And knows lansquenet?" 
He adores it." 
Basset?" 
His mania." 
Biribi?" 
' He revels in it." 



372 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Good," said Porthos; " we shall pass an agreeable even 
ing. " 

"The more so, as it will be the prelude to a better." 

"How so?" 

"We invite him to play to-night; he has invited us in re 
turn for to-morrow. But wait. To-night we stop at Derby; 
and if there is a bottle of wine in the town, let Mousqueton 
buy it. It will be well, too, to prepare a light supper, of 
which you, Athos and Aramis, are not to partake. Atlios, 
because I told him you had a fever; Ararnis, because you are 
a knight of Malta, and won't mix with fellows like us. Do 
you understand?" 

"Yes/' said Porthos; "but deuce take me if I understand 
at all.'' 

"Porthos, my friend, you know that I am descended on 
the father's side from the Prophets, and on the mother's from 
the Sybils, and that I only speak in parables and riddles. 
That is all I can say for the present." 

"The fact is," said Porthos, with an air of finesse, "I am 
rather incredulous." 

D'Artagnan gave him a clap on the shoulder, and as they 
had reached the station .where they were to breakfast, the 
conversation ended there. 

At five in the evening they sent Mousqueton on before, as 
agreed upon. 

In crossing the principal street in Derby, the four friends 
perceived their man standing in the doorway of a handsome 
house. It was there that their lodging was prepared for 
them. 

At the hour agreed upon Groslow came. D'Artagnan re 
ceived him as he would have done a friend of twenty years' 
standing. Porthos scanned him from head to foot, and 
smiled when he discovered, that in spite of the blow he had 
administered to Parry's brother, he was not so strong as him 
self. 

Achos and Aramis kept to the parts they had to play, and 
at midnight they retired to their room, leaving the door open. 
D'Artagnan accompanied them, and left Porthos to win fifty 
pistoles of Groslow, and to come to the conclusion when he 
left, that he was not such bad company as he had first 
imagined. 

Groslow left with the determination of retrieving his losses 
the next night, and reminded the Gascon of the appoint 
ment. 

The day passed as usual. In his ordinary relations D'Ar- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 373 

tagnan was the same as ever: but with his friends, that is to 
say, Athos and Aramis, his gayety was at fever heat. 

Arrived at Rystou, D'Artagnan assembled his friends. His 
face had lost the expression of careless gayety which it had 
worn like a mask the whole day. Athos pinched Aramis' 
hand. 

" The moment is at hand," he said. 

" Yes," said D'Artagnan, who had overheard him, " to 
night, gentlemen, we rescue the king." 

"D'Artagnan," said Athos, " this is not a joke, I trust? 
It would quite cut me up." 

" You are very odd-; Athos," he replied, " to doubt me thus. 
Where and when have you seen me trifle with a friend's heart 
nnd a king's life? I have told you, and I repeat it, that to 
night we rescue Charles I. You left it to me to discover the 
means of doing so, and I have done so." 

Porthos looked at D'Artagnan with an expression of pro 
found admiration. Aramis smiled as one who hopes. Athos 
was pale, and trembled in every limb. 

" Speak," said Athos. 

" We are invited," replied D'Artagnan, " to pass the night 
with Mr. Groslow. But do you know where?" 

" No." 

"In the king's room." 

"The king's room?" cried Athos. 

" Yes, gentlemen, in the king's room. Groslow is on 
guard there this evening, and, to pass his time, has invited 
us to keep him company." 

"Aha!" exclaimed Aramis. 

" We are going, then we two with our swords, you with 
daggers. We four are to make ourselves masters of these 
eight fools and their stupid captain. Monsieur Porthos, 
what do you say to it?" 

" That it is easy enough," answered Porthos. 

" We dress the king in Groslow's clothes. Mousqueton, 
Grimaud, and Blaisois have our horses saddled at the end of 
the first street. We mount them, and before daylight are 
twenty leagues distant." 

Athos placed his two hands on D'Artagnan's shoulders, 
and gazed at him with his cairn, mild smile. 

" I declare, my friend," said he, " that there is not a 
creature under the sky who equals you in prowess and 
courage." 

" And to think that I couldn't find that out," said Porthos, 
scratching his head; " it is so simple." 



374 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Bnt," said Aramis, " if I understand rightly, we are to 
kill them all, eh?" 

Athos shuddered and turned pale. 

" Mordioux," answered D'Artagnan; "I believe we must. 
I confess I can discover no help for it." 

" Let us see," said Aramis, " how are we to act?" 

" I have arranged two plans. Firstly, at a given signal, 
which shall be the words 'At last/ you each plunge a dagger 
into the heart of the soldier nearest to you. We, on our 
side, do the same. That will be four killed. We shall then 
be matched four against the remaining five. If those five 
give themselves up we gag them, if they resist we kill them." 

" Very good," said Porthos; " it will be a nice little throat- 
cutting. 

"Horrible! horrible!" exclaimed Athos. 

"Nonsense," said D'Artagnan; "you would do as much, 
Mr. Sensitive, in a battle. But, if you think the king's life 
is not worth what it must cost, there's an end of the matter, 
and I send to Groslow to say I am ill." 

" No, you are right," said Athos. 

At this moment a soldier entered to inform them that 
Groslow was waiting for them. 

"Where?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" In the room of the English Nebuchadnezzar," replied 
the staunch Puritan. 

" Good," replied Athos, whose blood mounted to his face 
at the insult offered to royalty; " tell the captain we are 
coming." 

" Faith," said Groslow, as the four friends entered, " I had 
almost given you up." 

D'Artagnan went up to him, and whispered in his ear: 

" The fact is we, that is, Monsieur de Valon and I, hesita 
ted a little." 

"And why?" 

D'Artagnan looked significantly toward Athos and Aramis. 

"Aha, said Groslow, "on account of opinions? No 
matter. On the contrary," he added, laughing, " if they 
want to see their Stuart they shall see him." 

"Are we to pass the night in the king's room?" asked 
D'Artagnan. 

" No, but in the one next to it; and as the door will remain 
open, it's the same thing. Have you provided yourself with 
money? I assure you I intend to play the devil's game 
to-night." 

D'Artagnan rattled the gold in his pockets. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 375 

" Very good," said Groslow, and opened the door of the 
room. 

" I will show you the way," and he went in first. 

D'Artagnan turned to look at his friends. Porthos was 
perfectly indifferent; Athos pale, but resolute. Aramis was 
wiping a slight moisture from his brow. 

The eight guards were at their posts four in the king's 
room, two at the door between the rooms, and two at that by 
which the friends had entered. Athos smiled when he saw 
their bare swords; he felt it was no longer to be a butchery 
but a fight, and his usual good humor returned to him. 

Charles was perceived through the door, lying dressed upon 
his bed, at the head of which Parry was seated, reading, in a 
low voice, a chapter from the Bible. 

A candle of coarse tallow on a black table lit up the 
resigned face of the king, and that of his faithful retainer, 
far less calm. 

From time to time Parry stopped, thinking the king, whose 
eyes were closed, was really asleep, but Charles would open his 
eyes, and say with a smile: 

" Go on, my good Parry, I am listening." 

Groslow advanced to the door of the king's room, replaced 
on his head the hat which he had taken off to receive his 
guests, looked for a moment contemptuously at this simple 
and touching scene, and, turning again to D'Artagnau, 
assumed an air of triumph at what he had achieved. 

" Capital," cried the Gascon, " you would make a distin 
guished general." 

" And do you think," asked Groslow, " that the Stuart will 
ever escape while I am guard?" 

"No, to be sure," replied D'Artagnan; "unless, forsooth, 
the sky rains friends upon him." 

Groslow's face brightened. 

It is impossible to say whether Charles, who kept his eyes 
constantly closed, had noticed the insolence of the Puritan 
captain, but the moment he heard the cleai tone of D'Artag- 
nan's voice, his eyelids rose in spite of himself. 

Parry, too, started and stopped reading. 

"What are you thinking about?" said the king; "goon, 
my good Parry, unless, at least, you are tired." 

Parry resumed his reading. 

On a table in the next room were lighted candles, cards, 
two dice-boxes and dice. 

"That's it," said D'Artagnan; "you, Monsieur le Comte 
de la Fere to the right of Monsieur Groslow. You, Chevalier 



376 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

d'Herblay to his left. De Valon next to me. You'll bet for 
me, and those gentlemen for Monsieur Groslow." 

By this arrangement D'Artagnan could nudge Porthos 
with his knee, and make signs with the eyes to Athos and 
Aramis. 

At the names of Comte de la Fere and Chevalier 
d'Herblay, Charles opened his eyes, and raising his noble 
head in spite of himself, threw a glance at all the actors in 
the scene. 

"You asked me jnst now if I was in funds," said D'Artag 
nan, placing some twenty pistoles upon the table; "well, in 
my turn I advise you to keep a sharp lookout on your 
TREASURE, my dear Monsieur Groslow, for I can tell you we 
shall not leave this without robbing you of it." 

"Not without my defending it, said Groslow. 

" So much the better," said D'Artagnan. " Fight, my 
dear captain, fight. You know, or you don't know, that that 
is what we ask of you." 

"Oh! yes," said Groslow, bursting with his usual hoarse 
laugh, " I know you Frenchmen want nothing but cuts and 
bruises." 

Charles had heard and understood it all. A slight color 
mounted to his cheeks. The soldiers then saw him stretch 
his limbs little by little, and under the pretence of much heat, 
throw off the Scotch plaid which covered him. 

Athos and Aramis started with delight to find that the king 
was lying with his clothes on. 

The game began. The luck had turned, and Groslow 
having won some hundred pistoles, was in the merriest pos 
sible humor. 

Porthos, who had lost the fifty pistoles he had won the 
night before, and thirty more besides, was very cross, and 
questioned D'Artagnan with a nudge of the knee, as to 
whether it would not soon be time to change the game. But 
D'Artagnan remained impassable. 

It struck ten. They heard the guard going its rounds. 

" How many rounds do they make a night?" asked D'Ar 
tagnan, drawing more pistoles from his pocket. 

"Five," answered Groslow, "one every two hours." 

D'Artagnan glanced at Athos and Aramis, and for the first 
time replied to Porthos' nudge of the knee by a nudge re 
sponsive. Meanwhile the soldiers, whose duty it was to remain 
in the king's room, attracted by that love of play so powerful 
in all men, had stolen little by little toward the table, and 
standing on tiptoe, were watching the game over the 



TWENTY YEARS AFTETC. 377 

shoulders of D'Artagnan and Porthos. Those on the other 
side had followed their example, thus favoring the views of 
the four friends. 

D'Artagnan turned, mechanically looking behind him, 
and between the figures of two soldiers he could see Parry 
standing up, and Charles leaning on his elbow, with his 
hands clasped, and apparently offering a fervent prayer to 
God. 

D'Artagnan saw that the moment was come. He darted a 
preparatory glance at Athos and Aramis, who gently pushed 
back their chairs a little so as to leave themselves space for 
action. He gave Porthos a second nudge of the knee; and 
Porthos got up as if to stretch his legs, and took care at the 
same time to ascertain that his sword could be drawn glibly 
from the scabbard. 

"Hang it/ 1 cried D'Artagnan; "another twenty pistoles 
lost. Eeally Captain Groslow, you are too much in luck's 
way. This can't last," and he drew another twenty from his 
pocket. " One more turn, captain, twenty pistoles on one 
throw only one, the last." 

"Done for twenty," replied Groslow. 

And he turned up two cards as usual, a king for D'Artag 
nan, and an ace for himself. 

"A king," said D'Artagnan; "it's a good omen, Master 
Groslow, look out for the king." 

And in spite of his power over himself, there was a strange 
vibration in the Gascon's voice, which made his partner start. 

Groslow began turning the cards one after another. If he 
turned up an ace first, he won; if a king, he lost. 

He turned up a king. 

" At last!" cried D'Artagnan. 

At this word Athos and Aramis jumped up. . Porthos drew 
back a step. Daggers and swords were just about to shine, 
when suddenly the door was thrown open, and Harrison ap 
peared in the doorway, accompanied by a man enveloped in a 
large cloak. Behind this man could be seen the glistening 
muskets of five or six soldiers. 

Groslow jumped up, ashamed at being surprised in the 
midst of wine, cards, and dice. But Harrison paid no atten 
tion to him, and entering the king's room, followed by his 
companion 

"Charles Stuart," said he, "an order. has come to conduct 
you to London without stopping day or night. Prepare your 
self, then, to start at once." 

" And by whom is this order given?" asked the king. 



378 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" By General Oliver Cromwell. And here is Mr. Mordaunt, 
who has brought it, and is charged with its execution." 

"Mordaunt!" muttered the four friends, exchanging looks. 

D'Artagnan swept up the money that he and Porthos had 
lost, and buried it in his huge pocket. Afchos and Aramis 
placed themselves behind him. At this moment Mordaunt 
turned round, recognized them, and uttered an exclamation 
of savage delight. 

" I'm afraid we are taken," whispered D'Artagnan to his 
friend. 

" Not yet," replied Porthos. 

" Colonel, colonel," cried Mordaunt, " you are betrayed. 
These four Frenchmen have escaped from Newcastle, and no 
doubt want to carry off the king. Arrest them." 

"Ah! my young man," said D'Artagnan, drawing his 
sword, " that is an order sooner given than executed. Fly, 
friends, fly," he added, whirling his sword around him. 

The next moment he darted to the door and knocked down 
two of the soldiers who guarded it, before they had time to 
cock their muskets. Athos and Aramis followed him, Por 
thos brought up the rear, and before soldiers, officers, or 
colonel had time to recover their surprise, all four were in the 
street. 

"Fire!" cried Mordaunt; "fire upon them." 

Three or four shots were fired, but with no other result 
than to show the four fugitives turning the corner of the 
street safe and sound. 

The horses were at the place fixed upon, and they leaped 
lightly into their saddles. 

" Forward!" cried D'Artagnan, "and put the spur in." 

They galloped away, and took the road they had come by 
in the morning, namely, in the direction toward Scotland. 
A few yards beyond the town D'Artagnan drew rein. 

"Halt!" he cried; "this time we shall be pursued. We 
must let them leave the village and ride after us on the 
northern road, and when they are passed we will take the op 
posite direction." 

There was a stream close by, and a bridge across it. 
D'Artagnan led his horse under the arch of the bridge. The 
others followed. Ten minutes later they heard the rapid gal 
lop of a troop of horsemen. A few minutes more, and the 
troop passed over their heads. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 379 



CHAPTER LX. 

LONDON. 

As SOON as the noise of the hoofs was lost in the distance, 
D'Artagnan remounted the bank of the stream and scoured 
the plain, followed by his three friends, directing himself as 
much as possible toward London. 

"This time," said D'Artagnau, when they were sufficiently 
distant to proceed at a trot, "I think all is lost, and we have 
nothing better to do than to reach France. What do you 
think, Athos?" 

"True," said Athos; "but we ought, I think, to see this 
great tragedy played out. Do not let us leave England be 
fore the crisis. Don't you agree with me, Aramis?" 

"Entirely, my dear count. Then, too, I confess I should 
not be sorry to come across Mordauut again. It appears to 
me that we have an account to settle with him, and that it is 
not our custom to leave a place without paying our debts, of 
this kind at least." 

"Ah! that's another thing," said D'Artagnan; "and I 
should not mind waiting in London a whole year for a chance 
of meeting this Mordaunt in question. Only let us lodge 
with some one on whom we can count; for I imagine that, 
just now, Mr. Cromwell would not be inclined to trifle with 
us. Athos, do you know any inn in the whole town where 
one can find white sheets, roast beef reasonably cooked, and 
wine which is not made of hops or gin?" 

"I think I know what you want," replied Athos. "De 
Winter took ns to the house of a Spaniard, who, he said, 
had been naturalized in England by his new fellow-country 
men's guineas." 

"Well, we must take every precaution." 

"Yes, and among others, that of changing our clothes." 

"Changing our clothes!" exclaimed Porthos. "I don't see 
why; we are very comfortable in those we have on." 

" To prevent recognition," said D'Artagnan. " Our clothes 
have a cut which would denounce the Frenchman at first 
sight. Now, I don't care sufficiently about the cut of rny 
jerkin to risk being hung at Tyburn, or sent for change of 
scene to the Indies. I shall buy a chestnut-colored suit. I've 
remarked that your Puritans revel in that color." 

"But can you find your man?" said Aramis to Athos. 

"Oh! to be sure, yes. He lives at the Bedford Tavern, 



380 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Green Hall street. Besides, I can find my way about the city 
with my eyes shut." 

Athos was right. He went direct to the Bedford Tavern, 
and the host, who recognized him, was delighted to see him 
again with such worthy and numerous company. 

Though it was scarcely daylight, our four travelers found 
the town in a great bustle, owing to the reported approach of 
Harrison and the king. 

The plan of changing their clothes was unanimously 
adopted. The landlord sent out for every description of 
garments, as if he wanted to fit up his wardrobe. Athos 
chose a black coat, which gave him the appearance of a re 
spectable citizen. Aramis, not wishing to part with his 
sword, selected a dark one of a military cut. Porthos was 
seduced by a red doublet with green pockets. D'Artagnan, 
who had fixed on his coloi beforehand, had only to select the 
shade, and looked in his chestnut suit exactly like a retired 
sugar-dealer. 

'Now," said D'Artagnan, "for the actual man. We must 
cut off our hair, that the populace may not insult us. As 
we no longer wear the sword of the gentleman, we may as 
well have the head of the Puritan. This, as you know, is 
the important point of distinction between the Covenanter 
and the Cavalier. 

" We look hideous," said Athos. 

"And smack of the Puritan to a frightful extent," said 
Aramis. 

"My head feels quite cold," said Porthos. 

"And as for me, I feel anxious to preach a sermon," said 
D'Artagnau. 

"Now," said Athos, "that we cannot even recognize one 
another, and have, therefore, no fear of others recognizing 
as, let us go and see the king's entrance." 

They had not been long in the crowd before loud cries an 
nounced the king's arrival. A carriage had been sent to 
meet him; and the gigantic Porthos, who stood a head above 
all the other heads, soon announced that he saw the royal 
equipage approaching. D'Artagnan raised himself on tiptoe, 
and as the carriage passed, saw Harrison at on window and 
Mordaunt at the ther. 

The next day, Athos leaning out of his window, which 
looked upon the most populous part of the city, heard the 
Act of Parliament, which summoned the ex-king, Charles L, 
to the bar publicly cried. 

" The parliament, indeed !" cried Athos, " Parliament can 
never have passed such an act as that." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 381 

At this moment the landlord came in. 

" Did parliament pass this act?" Athos asked of him in 
English. 

"Yes, my lord, the pure parliament." 

"Come," said D'Artagnan, "as I don't understand English, 
suppose you speak to us in Spanish, which we all do under 
stand." 

"Do you mean to say, then," resumed Athos, "that there 
are two parliaments, one pure, and the other impure?" 

"When I speak of the pure parliament," resumed the host, 
"I mean the one which Colonel Bridge has weeded." 

"Ah! really," said D'Artaguan, "these people are very in 
genious. When I go back to France I must suggest that tc 
Cardinal Mazarin. One shall weed the parliament in the 
name of the court, and the other in the name of the people; 
so th -there won't be any parliament left at all." 

"Aiid who is this Colonel Bridge?" asked Aramis. 

"Colonel Bridge," replied the Spaniard, "is a retired wag 
oner, a man of much sense, who made one observation in 
driving his team, namely, that where there happened to be a 
stone on the road, it was much easier to remove the stone, 
than to try and make the wheel pass over it. Now, of two 
hundred and fifty-one members who compose the parliament, 
there were one hundred and ninety-one who were in his way, 
and might have upset his political wagon. He took them 
up, just as he formerly used to take up the stones from the 
road, and threw them out of the house." 

"Neat," remarked D'Artagnan. "Very!" 

"And all these one hundred and ninety-one were Stuart- 
ists?" asked Athos. 

"Without doubt, sen" or; and, you understand, that they 
would have saved the king." 

"To be sure," said Porthos majestically, "they were in the 
majority." 

"And you think," said Aramis, "he will consent to appear 
before such a tribunal?" 

"He will be forced to do so," answered the Spaniard. 

"Now, Athos!" said D'Artagnan, "do you begin to believe 
'chat it's a ruined cause? and that what with your Harrisons, 
Joyces, Bridges, and Crom wells, we shall never get the upper 
hand?" 

"But," said Aramis, "if they dare to condemn their king, 
it can only be to exile or imprisonment." 

D'Artagnan whistled a little air of incredulity. 

" We shall see," said Athos, "for we shall go to the sittings, 
I presume." 



382 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" Yon will not have long to wait," said the landlord; "they 
begin to-morrow." 

"So, then, they drew up the indictment before the king 
was taken?" 

"Of course," said D'Artaguan; "they began the day he 
was sold." 

"And you know," said Aramis, "that it was our friend 
Mordaunt who made, if not the bargain, at least the first 
overtures." 

"And you know," added D'Artagnan, " that whenever I 
catch him, I kill him, this Mr. Mordaunt." 

"And I, too," exclaimed Porthos. 

"And I, too," added Aramis. 

"Touching unanimity!" cried D'Artagnan, "which well 
becomes good citizens like us. Let us take a turn round the 
town, and imbibe a litle fog." 

" Yes," said Porthos. "It will be a change from the beer." 



CHAPTER LXI. 

THE TRIAL. 

TEE next morning King Charles I. was brought by a strong 
guard before the high court which was to judge him. All 
London was crowding to the doors of the house. The throng 
was terrific; and it was not till after much pushing and some 
fighting that our four friends reached their destination. 
When they did so, they found the three lower rows of benches 
already occupied; but, as they were not anxious to be too 
conspicuous, all, with the exception of Porthos, who was 
anxious to display his red doublet, were quite satisfied with 
their places, the more so as chance had brought them to the 
center of their row, so that they were exactly opposite the 
armchair prepared for the royal prisoner. 

Toward eleven o'clock the king enterei the hall, surrounded 
by guards, but wearing his head covered, and with a calm 
expression turned to every side with a look of complete assur 
ance, as if he were there to preside at an assembly of submis 
sive subjects, rather than to reply to the accusations of a rebel 
court. 

The judges, proud of having a monarch to humble, evi 
dently prepared to employ the right they had arrogated to 
themselves, and sent an officer to inform the king that it was 
customary for the accused to uncover his head. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 383 

Charles, without replying a single word, turned his head in 
another direction, and pulled his felt hat over it. Then, 
when the officer was gone, he sat down in the armchair oppo 
site the president, and struck his boot with a little cane which 
he carried in his hand. Parry, who accompanied him^ stood 
behind him. 

D'Artagnan was looking at Athos, whose face betrayed all 
those emotions which the king, possessing more power over 
himself, had chased from his own. This agitation, in one so 
cool and calm as Athos, frightened him. 

"I hope," he whispered to him, "that you will follow his 
majesty's example, and not get killed for your folly in this 
deii." 

"Set your mind at rest," replied Athos. 

"Aha!" continued D'Artagnan, "it is clear that they are 
afraid of something or other; for, look, the sentinels are being 
reinforced. They had only halberds before, and now they 
have muskets. The halberds were for the audience in the 
area. The muskets are for us." 

"Thirty, forty, fifty, sixty-five men," said Porthos, count 
ing the reinforcements. 

"Ah!" said Afamis. "But you forget the officer." 

D'Artagnan grew pale with rage. He had recognized 
Mordauut, who, with bare sword, was marshaling the mus 
keteers before the king, and opposite the benches. 

" Do you think they have recognized us?" said D'Artagnan. 
"In that case 1 should beat a retreat. I don't care to be shot 
in a box." 

"No," said Aramis, "he has not seen us. He sees no one 
but the king. 'Mon Dieu!' 1 how he stares at him, the inso 
lent dog! Does he hate his majesty as much as he does us?" 

u Pardieu," answered Athos, "we only carried off his 
mother, and the king has spoiled him of his name and prop 
erty." 

"True," said Aramis; "but silence! the president is speak 
ing to the king." 

"Stuart," Br Jshaw was saying, "listen to the roU-call of 
your judges, and address to the court any observations you 
may have to make." 

The king turned his head away, as if these words had not 
been intended for him. Bradshaw waited, and, as there was 
no reply, there was a moment of silence. 

Oat of the hundred and sixty-three members designated, 
there were only seventy-three present, fo" the rest, fearful of 
taking part in such an act, had remained away. 



884 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

When the name of Colonel Fairfax was called, one of those 
brief but solemn silences ensued, which announced the ab 
sence of the members who had no wish to take a personal part 
in the trial. 

"Colonel Fairfax," repeated Bradshaw. 

"Fairfax?" answered a laughing voice, the silvery tone of 
which betrayed it as that of a woman, "he is not such a fool " 
is to be here." 

A loud laugh followed these words, pronounced with that 
boldness which women draw from their own weakness a 
weakness which removes them beyond the power of vengeance. 
""It is a woman's voice," cried Aramis; "faith, I would 
give a good deal for her to be young and pretty." And he 
mounted on the bench to try and get a sight of her. 

"By my soul," said Aramis, "she is charming. Look, 
D'Artagnan; everybody is looking at her; and in spite of 
Bradshaw's gaze, she has not turned pale." 

"It is Lady Fairfax herself," said D'Artagnan, "don't you 
remember, Porthos, we saw her at General Cromwell's?" 

The roll-call continued. 

" These rascals will adjourn when they find that they are 
not in sufficient force," said the Count de la Fere. 

"You don't know them, Athos; look at Mordaunt's smile. 
Is that the look of a man whose victim is likely to escape 
him. Ah, cursed basilisk, it will be a happy day for me 
when I can cross something more than a look with you." 

"The king is really very handsome," said Porthos; "and 
look, too, though he is a prisoner, how carefully he is dressed. 
The feather in his hat is worth at least fifty pistoles. Look 
at it, Aramis." 

The roll-call finished, the president ordered them to read 
the act of accusation. Athos turned pale. A second time 
he was disappointed in his expectation. 

"I told you so, Athos," said D'Artagnan, shrugging his 
shoulders. " Now take your courage in both hands, and hear 
what this gentleman in black is going to say about his sover 
eign, with full license and privilege." 

Never till then had a more brutal accusation or meaner 
insults tarnished the kingly majesty. 

Charles listened with marked attention, passing over the 
Insults, noting the grievances, and, when hatred overflowed a\[ 
bounds, and the accuser turned executioner beforehand, re 
plying with a smile of contempt. 

"The fact is," said D'Artagnan, "if men are punished for 
imprudence and triviality, this poor king deserves punish- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 385 

ment. But it seems to me that that which he is just now 
undergoing is hard enough." 

At this moment the accuser concluded with these words: 

" The present accusation is preferred by us in the name of 
the English people." 

At these words there was a murmur along the benches, and 
a second voice, not that of a woman, but a man's, stout and 
furious, thundered behind D'Artagnan: 

"You lie," it cried, "and nine-tenths of the English people 
shudder at what yon say." 

This voice was that of Athos, who, standing up with out 
stretched arm, and quite out of his mind, thus assailed the 
public accuser. 

King, judges, spectators, all turned their eyes to the bench 
where the four friends were seated. Mordaunt did the same, 
and recognized the gentleman, around whom the three other 
Frenchmen were standing, pale and menacing. His eyes 
glittered with delight. He had discovered those to whose 
death he had devoted his life. A movement of fury called to 
his side some twenty of his musketeers, and, pointing to the 
bench where his enemies were "Fire on that bench," he 
cried. 

But, rapid as thought, D'Artagnan seized Athos by the 
middle of the body, and, followed by Porthos with Aramis, 
leaped down from the benches, rushed into the passages, and 
flying down the staircase, was lost in the crowd without, while 
the muskets within were pointed on some three thousand 
spectators, whose piteous cries and noisy alarms stopped the 
impulse already given to bloodshed. 

Mordaunt, pale and trembling with anger, rushed from the 
hall, sword in hand, followed by six pikemen, pushing, in 
quiring, and panting in the crowd; and then, having found 
nothing, returned. 

Quiet was at length restored. 

"What have you to say in your defense?" asked Bradshaw 
of the king. 

Then, rising with his head still covered, in the tone of 
judge rather than a prisoner, Charles began : 

"Before questioning me," he said, "reply to my question. 
I was free at Newcastle, and had there concluded a treaty 
with both houses. Instead of performing your part of this 
contract, as I performed mine, you bought me from the Scotch 
not dear, I know, and that does honor to the economy of 
your government. But because you have paid the price of a 
slave, do you expect that I have ceased to be your king? No. 
17 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



386 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

To answer you would be to forget it. I shall only reply to 
you when you have satisfied me of your right to question me. 
To answer you would be to acknowledge you as my judges, 
and I only acknowledge you as my executioners." And in 
the midst of a deathlike silence, Charles, calm, lofty, and 
with his head still covered, sat down again in his armchair. 

"Why are not my Frenchmen here?" he murmured 
proudly, and turning his eyes to the benches where they bad 
appeared for a moment; "they would have seen that their 
friend was worthy of their defense, while alive; and of their 
tears, when dead." 

" Well," said the president seeing that Charles was deter 
mined to remain silent "so be it. We will judge you in 
spite of your silence. You are accused of treason, of abuse 
of power, and murder. The evidence will support it. Go, 
and another sitting will accomplish what you have refused to 
do in this." 

Charles rose, and turned toward Parry, whom he found 
pallid, and with his temples covered with moisture. 

" Well, my dear Parry," said he, "what is the matter? and 
what can affect you in this manner?" 

"Oh, my king," said Parry, with tears in his eyes, and in 
a tone of supplication, "do not look to the left as we leave 
the hall." 

"And why, Parry?" 

"Do not look, I implore you, my king." 

"But what is the matter? speak," said Charles, attempting 
to look across the hedge of guards which surrounded him. 

"It is but you will not look, will you? it is, because they 
have had the axe, with which criminals are executed, brought 
and placed there on a table. The sight is hideous." 

"Fools," said Charles, "do they take me for a coward like 
themselves? You have done well to warn me. Thank you, 
Parry." 

When the moment arrived, the king followed his guards 
out of the hall. As he passed the table on which the axe was 
laid, he stopped, and turning with a smile said : 

"Ah! the axe, an ingenious device, and well worthy of 
those who know not what a gentleman is. You frighten me 
not, executioner's axe," added he, touching it with the cane 
which he held in his hand, "and I strike you now, waiting 
patiently and christianly for you to return the blow." 

And, shrugging his shoulders with real contempt, he passed 
on. When he reached the door, a long stream of people, who 
had been disappointed in not being able to get into the house, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 38? 

and to make amends had collected to see mm come out, stood 
on each side as he passed, many among them glaring on him 
with threatening looks. 

" How many people," thought he, "and not one true friend." 
And as he uttered these words of doubt and depression within 
his mind, a voice near him said: 

"Respect to fallen majesty." 

The king turned quickly round, with tears in his eyes and 
heart. 

It was an old soldier of the guards, who could not see his 
king pass captive before him without rendering him this last 
homage. But the next moment the unfortunate man was 
nearly stunned with blows from the hilts of swords; and 
among those who set upon him the king recognized Captain 
Groslow. 

"Alas!" said Charles, "that is a severe chastisement for a 
very slight fault." 

He continued his way; but he had scarcely gone a hundred 
paces, when a furious fellow, leaning between two soldiers, 
spit in the king's face. Loud roars of laughter and sullen 
murmurs rose together. The crowd opened and closed again, 
undulating like a stormy sea; and the king imagined that he 
saw shining in the midst of this living wave the bright eyes 
of Athos. 

Charles wiped his face, and said, with a sad smile, " Poor 
wretch, for half-a-crown he would do as much to his own 
father." 

The king was not wrong. Athos and his friends, again 
mingling with the throng, were taking a last look at the 
martyr king. 

.When the cowardly insulter had spat in the face of the 
captive monarch, Athos had grasped his dagger. But D'Ar- 
tagnan stopped his hand, and in a hoarse voice cried, "Wait!" 

Athos stopped. D'Artagnan leaning on Athos, made a 
sign to Porthos and Aramis to keep near them, and then 
placed himself behind the man with the bare arms, who was 
still laughing at his own vile pleasantry, and receiving tlie 
congratulations of several others. 

The man took his way toward the city. The four friends 
followed him. The man, who had the appearance of being a 
butcher, desended a little steep and isolated street, looking 
on to the river, with two of his friends. Arrived at the bank 
of the river, the three men perceived that they were followed, 
turned round, and looked insolently at the Frenchmen. 

"Athos," said D'Artagnan, "will you interpret for me?" 



388 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

At this, D'Artagnan walked straight up to the butcher, and 
touching him on the chest with the tip of his finger, said to 
Athos: 

"Say this to him in English, 'You are a coward. You 
have insulted a defenseless man. You have befouled the face 
of your king. You must die.' " 

Athos, pale as a ghost, repeated these words to the man, 
who, seeing the unpleasant preparations that were making,, 
put himself in an attitude of defense. Arainis, at this move 
ment, drew his sword. 

"No," cried D'Artagnan, "no steel. Steel is for gentle 
men." 

And seizing the butcher by the throat: 

"Porthos," said he, "knock this fellow down for me with 
a single blow." 

Porthos raised his terrible arm, which whistled throngh 
the air like a sling, and the heavy mass fell with a dull noise 
on the skull of the coward, and broke it. The man fell like 
an ox under the mallet. His companions, horror-struck, 
could neither move nor cry out. 

"Tell them this, Athos," resumed D'Artagnan; "'thus 
shall all die who forget that a fettered man wears a sacred 
head.'" 

The two men looked at the body of their companion, swim 
ming in black blood; and then, recovering voice and legs 
together, ran shouting away. 

"Justice is done," said Porthos, wiping his forehead. 

"And now," said D'Artagnan to Athos, "do not have any 
doubts about me; I undertake everything that concerns the 
king." 



CHAPTER LXII. 

WHITEHALL. 

IT was easy to foresee that the parliament would condemn 
Charles to death. Political judgments are generally merely 
vain formalities, for the same passions which give rise to the 
accusation give rise also to the condemnation. Such is the 
terrible logic of revolutions. 

Meanwhile, before our four friends could mature their 
plans, they determined to put every possible obstacle in the 
way of the execution of the sentence. To this end they re 
solved to get rid of the London executioner; for though, of 
course, another could be sent for from the nearest town, there 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 389 

would be still a delay of a day or two gained. D'Artagnan 
undertook this more than difficult task. The next thing was 
to warn Charles of the attempt about to be made to save him. 
Aramis undertook the perilous office. Bishop Juxon had re 
ceived permission to visit Charles in his prison at Whitehall; 
Aramis resolved to persuade the bishop to let him enter with 
him. Lastly, Athos was to prepare, in every emergency, the 
means of leaving England. 

The palace of Whitehall was guarded by three regiments of 
cavalry, and still more by the anxiety of Cromwell, who came 
and went, or sent his generals or his agents continually. 
Alone, in his usual room, lighted by two candles, the con 
demned monarch gazed sadly on the luxury of his past great 
ness, just as, at the last hour, one sees the image of life, 
milder and more brilliant than ever. 

Parry had not quitted his master, and, since his condem 
nation, had not ceased to weep. Charles, leaning on a table, 
was gazing at a medallion of his wife and daughter; he was 
waiting first for Juxon, next for martyrdom. 

" Alas!" he said to himself, "if I only had for a confessor 
one of those lights of the Church, whose soul has sounded all 
the mysteries of life, all the littleness of greatness, perhaps 
his voice would choke the voice that wails within my soul. 
But I shall have a priest of vulgar mind, whose career and 
fortune I have ruined by my misfortune. He will speak to 
me of God and of death, as he has spoken to many another 
dying man, not understanding that this one leaves his throne 
to a usurper and his children to starve." 

And he raised the medallion to his lips. 

It was a dull, foggy night. A neighboring church clock 
slowly struck the hour. The pale light of the two candles 
raised nickering phantoms in the lofty room. These phan 
toms were the ancestors of King Charles, standing out from 
their gilt frames. A profound melancholy had possessed 
itself of Charles. He buried his brow in his hands, and 
thought of all that was so dear to him, now to be left forever. 
He drew from his bosom the diamond cross which La Gar- 
reti^re had sent him by the hands of those generous French 
men, and kissed it, and remembered that she would not see it 
again till he was lying cold and mutilated in the tomb. 

Suddenly the door opened, and an ecclesiastic, in episcopal 
robes, entered, followed by two guards, to whom the king 
waved an imperious gesture. The guards retired. The room 
resumed its obscurity. 

"Juxon!" cried Charles, "Juxon, thank yon, my last 
friend, you are come at a fitting moment." 



390 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

The bishop looked anxiously at the man sobbing in the 
inglenook. 

"Come, Parry," said the king, "cease your tears." 

"If it's Parry," said the bishop, "I have nothing to fear; 
so allow me to salute your majesty, and to tell him who I am, 
and for what I am come." 

At this sight, and this voice, Charles was about to cry out, 
when Aramis placed his finger on his lips, and bowed low to 
the king of England. 

"The knight!" murmured Charles. 

"Yes, sire," interrupted Aramis, raising his voice, "the 
Bishop Juxon, faithful Knight of Christ, and obedient to your 
majesty's wishes." 

Charles clasped his hands, amazed and stupefied to find 
that these foreigners, without other motive than that which 
their conscience imposed on them, thus combated the will of 
a people, and the destiny of a king. 

"You!" he said, "you! how did you penetrate hither? If 
they recognize you, you are lost." 

"Care not for me, sire; think only of yourself. You see, 
your friends are wakeful. I know not what we shall do yet, 
but four determined men can do much. Meanwhile, do not 
be surprised at anything that happens; prepare yourself for 
every emergency." 

Charles shook his head. 

"Do you know that I die to-morrow at ten oclock?" 

"Something, your majesty, will happen, between now and 
then, to make the execution impossible." 

At this moment a strange noise, like the unloading of a 
cart, and followed by a cry of pain, was heard beneath the 
window. 

"What is this noise and this cry?" said Aramis, perplexed. 

"I know not who can have uttered that cry," said the king, 
"but the noise is easily understood. Do you know that I am 
to be beheaded outside this window? Well, this wood, that 
you hear fall, is the posts and planks to build my scaffold. 
Some workmen must have been hurt in unloading them." 

Aramis shuddered, in spite of himself. 

"You see," said the king, "that it is useless for you to 
resist. I am condemned; leave me to my death." 

" My king," said Aramis, " they may well raise a scaffold, 
but they cannot make an executioner." 

"What do you mean?" asked the king. 

"I mean that, at this hour, the headsman is removed by 
force or persuasion. The scaffold will be ready by to-morrow, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 391 

but the headsman will be wanting, and they will put it off 
till the day after to-morrow." 

"What then?" said the king. 

"To-morrow night we shall rescue yon." 

"Oh! sir," cried Parry, "may you and yours he blessed!" 

"I know nothing about it," continued Aramis, "but the 
cleverest, the bravest, the most devoted of us four, said to 
me, when I left him, 'Knight, tell the king, that to-morrow, 
at ten o'clock at night, we shall carry him off.' He has said 
it, and will do it." 

"You are really wonderful men," said the king; "take my 
hand, knight, it is that of a friend who will love you to the 
last." 

Aramis stooped to kiss the king's hand, but Charles clasped 
his and pressed it to his heart. 

At this moment a man entered, without even knocking at 
the door. Aramis tried to withdraw his hand, but the king 
still held it. The man was one of those Puritans, half 
preacher and half soldier, who swarmed around Cromwell. 

"What do you want, sir?" said the king. 

"I desire to know if the confession of Charles Stuart is at 
an end?" said the stranger. 

"And what is it to you? replied the king; "we are not of 
the same religion." 

"All men are brothers," said the Puritan. "One of my 
brothers is about to die, and I come to prepare him." 

"Bear with him," whispered Aramis; "it is doubtless some 
spy." 

"After my reverend Lord Bishop," said the king, to the 
man, "I shall hear you with pleasure, sir." 

The man retired, but not before examining the supposed 
Juxou with an attention which did not escape the king. 

"Knight," said the king, when the door was closed, "I be 
lieve you are right, and that this man only came here with 
evil intentions. Take care that no misfortune befalls you 
when you leave." 

"I thank your majesty," said Aramis, "but, under these 
robes, I have a coat of mail and a dagger." 

" Go, then, sir, and God keep you !" 

The king accompanied him to the door, where Aramis pro 
nounced his benediction upon him, and, passing through the 
anterooms, filled with soldiers, jumped into his carriage, and 
drove to the bishop's palace. Juxon was waiting for him 
impatiently. 

Aramis resumed his own attire, and left Juxon with the 
assurance that he might again have recourse to him. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Ho had scarcely gone ten yards in the street, \vhen he per 
ceived that he was followed by a man wrapped in a large 
cloak. He placed his hand on his dagger and stopped. The 
man came straight toward him. It was Porthos. 

"My dear friend," cried Aramis. 

"You see, we had each our mission," said Porthos; "mine 
was to guard you, and I was doing so. Have you seen the 
king?" 

"Yes, and all goes well." 

" We are to meet our friends at the hotel at eleven." 

It was then striking half-past ten by St. Paul's. 

Arrived at th hotel, it was not long before Athos entered. 

"All's well," he cried as he entered; "I have hired a little 
skiff, as narrow as a canoe, and as light as a swallow. It is 
waiting for us at Greenwich, opposite the Isle of Dogs, man- 
ned by a captain and four men, who, for the sum of fifty 
pounds sterling, will ke p hemselves at our disposition three 
successive nights. Once on board, we drop down the Thames, 
and, in two hours, are in the open sea. In case I am killed, 
the captain's name is Kogers, and the skiff is called the 
'Lightning.' A handkerchief, tied at the four corners, is to 
be the signal." 

Next moment D'Artagnan entered. 

" Empty your pockets," said he, " I want a hundred pounds, 
and as for my own " and he emptied them inside out. 

The sum was collected in a minute. D'Artagnan ran out, 
and returned directly after. 

"There," said he, "it's done. Ough! and not without a 
deal of trouble too." 

"Has the executioner left London?" said Aramis. 

"No, he is in the cellar." 

"The cellar what cellar?" 

"Our landlord's, to be sure. Mousqueton is sitting on the 
door, and here's the key." 

"Bravo!" said Aramis; "but how did you manage it?" 

"Like everything else with money; it cost me dear." 

"How much?" asked Athos. 

"Five hundred pounds." 

"And where did you get all that from?" said Athos. 

"The queen's famous diamond," answered D'Artagnan 
with a sigh. 

"Ah! true," said Aramis, "I recognized it on your finger." 

" You bought it back, then, from Monsieur Dessessarts?" 
asked Porthos. 

"Yes, but it was fated that I should not keep it." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 393 

"Well, so much for the executioner," said Athos; "but 
unfortunately, every executioner has his assistant, his man, 
or whatever you call him." 

"And this one had his," said D'Artagnan; "but, as good 
luck would have it, just as I thought I should have two 
affairs to manage, my friend was brought home with a broken 
leg. En the excess of his zeal, he had accompanied the cart 
containing the scaffolding as far as the king's window, and 
one of the planks fell on his leg and broke it." 

"Ah!" cried Aramis, "that accounts for the cry that I 
heard." 

"Probably," said D'Artagnan; "but as he is a thoughtful 
young man, he promised to send four expert workmen in his 
place to help those already at the scaffold, and wrote, the 
moment he was brought home, to Master Tom Lowe, an 
assistant carpenter and friend of his, to go down to Whitehall, 
with three of his friends. Here's the letter he sent by a 
messenger for sixpence, who sold it to me for a guinea." 

"And what on earth are you going to do with it?" asked 
Athos. 

"Can't you guess, my dear Athos? You, who speak Eng 
lish like John Bull himself, are Master Tom Lowe, we, your 
three companions. Do you understand now?" 



CHAPTER LXIII. 

THE WORKMEN. 

TOWARD midnight Charles heard a great noise beneath his 
window. It arose from blows of the hammer and hatchet, 
clinking of pincers and crinching of saws. 

Lying dressed upon his bed, this noise awoke him with a 
start, and found a gloomy echo in his heart. He could not 
endure it, and sent Parry to ask the sentinel to beg the work 
men to strike more gently, and not disturb the last slumber 
of one who had been their king. The sentinel was unwilling 
to leave his post, but allowed Parry to pass. 

Arriving at the window, Parry found an unfinished scaffold, 
over which they were nailing a covering of black serge. 
Raised to the height of twenty feet, so as to he on a level 
with the window, it had two lower stories. Parry, odious aa 
was the sight to him, sought for those among some eight or 
ten workmen, who were making the most noise; and fixed on 
two men, who were loosening the last hooks of the iron 
balcony. 



394 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"My friends," said Parry, when he had mounted the scaffold 
and stood beside them, " would you work a little more quietly? 
The king wishes to get a sleep." One of the two, who was 
standing up, was of gigantic size, and was driving a pick with 
all his might into the wall, while the other kneeling beside 
him was collecting the pieces of stone. The face of the first 
was lost to Parry in the darkness, but as the second turned 
round and placed his finger on his lips, Parry started back in 
amazement. 

"Very well, very well," said the workman aloud in excel 
lent English. " Tell the king that if he sleeps badly to-night, 
he will sleep better to-morrow." 

These blunt words, so terrible if taken literally, were re 
ceived by the other workmen with a roar of laughter. But 
Parry withdrew, thinking he was dreaming. 

"Sire," said he to the king, when he had returned, "do 
you know who these workmen are who are making so much 
noise?" 

"I! no, how would you have me know?" 

Parry bent his head and whispered the king, "It is the 
Count de la F6re and his friend." 

" Raising my scaffold," cried the king, astonished. 

"Yes, and at the same time making a hole in the wall." 

The king clasped his hands, and raised his eyes to heaven; 
then, leaping down from his bed, he went to the window, and 
pulling aside the curtain, tried to distinguish the figures out 
side, but in vain. 

Parry was not wrong. It was Athos whom he had recog 
nized, and it was Porthos who was boring a hole through the 
wall. 

This hole communicated with a kind of low loft the space 
between the floor of the king's room and the ceiling of the 
one below it. Their plan was to pass through the hole they 
were making into this loft, and cut out from below a piece 
of the flooring of the king's room, so as to form a kind of 
trap-door. 

Through this the king was to escape the next night, and, 
hidden by the black covering of the scaffold, was to change 
his dress for that of a workman, slip out with his deliverers, 
pass the sentinels, who would suspect nothing, and so reach 
the skiff that was waiting for him at Greenwich. 

Day gilded the tops of the houses. The hole was finished, 
and Athos passed through it, carrying the clothes destined 
for the king, wrapped in a piece of black cloth, and the tools 
with which he was to open a communication with the king's 
room- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 395 

D'Artagnan returned to change his workman's clothes for 
his chestnut-colored suit, and Porthos to put on his red 
doublet. As for Aramis, he went on* to the bishop's palace 
to see if he could possiblypass in with Juxon to the king's 
presence. All three agreea to meet at noon in Whitehall- 
place to see how things went on. 

Aramis found his two friends engaged with a bottle of port 
and a cold chicken, and explained the arrangement to them. 

"Bravo!" said Porthos, "besides, we shall be there at the 
time of the flight. What with D'Artagnan, Grimaud, and 
Mousqueton, we can manage to dispatch eight of them. I 
say nothing about Blaisois, for he is only fit to hold the horses. 
Two minutes a man makes four minutes. Mousqueton will 
lose another, that's five; and in five minutes they can have 
galloped a quarter of a league." 

Aramis swallowed a hasty mouthful, drank off a glass of 
wine, and changed his clothes. 

" Now," said he, " I'm off to the bishop's. Take care of 
the executioner, D'Artagnan." 

"All right. Grimaud has relieved Mousqueton, and has 
bis foot on the cellar-door." 

"Well, don't be inactive." 

"Inactive, my dear fellow! Ask Porthos. I pass my life 
apon my legs, like a ballet-dancer." 

Aramis again presented himself at the bishop's. Juxon 
consented the more readily to take him with him, as he would 
require an assistant priest, in case the king should wish to 
communicate. Dressed as Aramis had been the night before, 
the bishop got into his carriage, and the former, more dis 
guised by his pallor and sad countenance than his deacon's 
dress, got in by his side. The carriage stopped at the door 
of the palace. 

It was about nine o'clock in the morning. 

Nothing was changed. The anterooms were still full of 
soldiers, the passages still lined by guards. The king was 
already sanguine, but when he perceived Aramis his hope 
turned to joy. 

"Sire," said Aramis, the moment they were alone, "you 
are saved, the London executioner has vanished. His assist 
ant broke his leg last night, beneath your majesty's window 
the cry we heard was his and there is no executioner nearer 
at hand than Bristol." 

"But the Comte de la Fere?" asked the king. 

" Two feet below you ; take the poker from the fireplace, 
and strike three times on the floor. He will answer you." 



396 TWENTY TEARS AFTEE. 

The king did so, and the moment after, three dnll knocks, 
answering the given signal, sounded beneath the floor. 

"So," said Charles, "he who knocks down there " 

" Is the Comte de la Fere, sire," said Aramis. " He is pre 
paring a path for your majesty to escape by. Parry, for his 
part, will raise this slab of marble, and a passage will be 
opened." 

"Oh! Jnxon," said the king, seizing the bishop's two 
hands in his own, "promise that you will pray all your life 
for this gentleman, and for the other that you hear beneath 
your feet, and for two others again, who, wherever they may 
be, are vigilant, I am sure, for my safety." 

"Sire," replied Juxon, "you shall be obeyed." 

Meanwhile, the miner underneath was heard working away 
incessantly, when suddenly an unexpected noise resounded in 
the passage. Aramis seized the poker, and gave the signal 
to stop; the noise came nearer and nearer. It was that of a 
number of men steadily approaching. The four men stood 
motionless. All eyes were fixed on the door, which opened 
slowly, and with a kind of solemnity. 

A parliamentary officer, clothed in black, and with a gravity 
that augured ill, entered, bowed to the king, and, unfolding 
a parchment, read him the arrest which is usually made to 
criminals before their execution. 

" What is this?" said Aramis to Juxon. 

Juxon replied with a sign which meant that he knew as 
little as Aramis about it. 

"Then it is for to-day?" asked the king. 

" Was not your majesty warned that it was to take place 
this morning?" 

" Then I must die like a common criminal by the hand of 
the London executioner?" 

"The London executioner has disappeared, your majesty, 
but a man has offered his services instead. The execution 
will therefore only be delayed long enough for you to arrange 
your spiritual and temporal affairs." 

A slight moisture on his brow was the only trace of emo 
tion that Charles evinced, as he learned these tidings. But 
Aramis was livid. His heart ceased beating, he closed his 
eyes, and leaned upon the table. Charles perceived it, and 
took his hand. 

"Come, my friend," said he, "courage." Then he turned 
to the officer. "Sir, I am ready. I have little to delay you. 
Firstly, I wish to communicate; secondly, to embrace my 
children, and bid them farewell for the last time. Will this 
be permitted me?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 397 

"Certainly," replied the officer, and left the room. 

Aramis dug his nails into his flesh and groaned aloud. 

"Oh, my Lord Bishop!" he cried, seizing Juxon's hands, 
"where is God? where is God?" 

"My son," replied the bishop with firmness, "you see him 
not because the passions of the world conceal him." 

"Be seated, Juxon," said the king, falling upon his knees. 
I have now to confess to you. Remain, sir," he added to 
Aramis, who had moved to leave the room. "Remain, Parry. 
I have nothing to say that cannot be said before all." 

Juxon sat down, and the king, kneeling humbly before 
him, began his confession. 



CHAPTER LXIV. 

REMEMBER! 

THE populace was already assembled when the confession 
terminated. The king's children then arrived first, the 
Princess Elizabeth, a beautiful fair-haired child, with tears 
in her eyes, and then the Duke of Gloucester, a boy eight or 
nine years old, whose tearless eyes and curling lip revealed a 
growing pride. He had wept all night long, but would not 
show his grief to the people. 

Charles' heart melted within him. He turned to brush 
away a tear, and then, summoning up all his firmness, drew 
his daughter toward him, recommending her to be pious and 
resigned. Then he took the boy upon his knee. 

"My son," he said to him, "you saw a great number of 
people in the streets as you came here. These men are going 
to behead your father. Do not forget that. Perhaps some 
day they will want to make you king instead of the Prince of 
Wales, or the Duke of York, your elder brothers. But you 
are not the king, my son, and can never be so while they are 
alive. Swear to me, then, never to let them put the crown 
on your head. For one day listen, my son one day, if you 
do so, they will throw it all down, head and crown too, and 
then you will not be able to die calm and remorseless, as I 
die. Swear, my son." 

The child stretched out his little hand toward that of his 
father, and said, "I swear to your majesty." 

"Henry," said Charles, "call me your father." 

"Father," replied the child, "I swear to you, that they 
shall kill me sooner than make me king." 



398 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Good, my child. Now kiss me, and yon too, Elizabeth 
never forget me." 

"Oh, never! never!" cried both the children, throwing 
their arms round their father's neck. 

"Farewell," said Charles, "farewell, my children. Take 
them away, Juxon; their tears will deprive me of the conrage 
to die." 

Juxon led them away, and this time the doors were left 
open. 

Meanwhile, Athos, in his concealment, waited in vain the 
signal to recommence his work. Two long hours he waited 
in terrible inaction. A deathlike silence reigned in the room 
above. At last he determined to discover the cause of this 
stillness. He crept from his hole, and stood, hidden by the 
black drapery, beneath the scaffold. Peeping out from the 
drapery, he could see the rows of halberdiers and muskeeters 
round the scaffold, and the first ranks of the populace, sway 
ing and groaning like the sea. 

"What is the matter, then?" he asked himself, trembling 
more than the cloth he was holding back. " The people are 
hurrying on, the soldiers under arms, and among the spec 
tators I see D'Artagnan. What is he waiting for? What is 
he looking at? Good God! have they let the headsman 
escape?" 

Suddenly the dull beating of muffled drums filled the square. 
The sound of heavy steps was heard above his head. The next 
moment the very planks of the scaffold creaked with the 
weight of an advancing procession, and the eager faces of the 
spectators confirmed what a last hope at the bottom of his 
heart had prevented him believing till then. At the same 
moment a well-known voice above him pronounced these 
words: 

"Colonel, I wish to speak to the people." 

Athos shuddered from head to foot. It was the king 
speaking on the scaffold. By his side stood a man wearing 
a mask, and carrying an axe in his hand, which he afterward 
laid upon the block. 

The sight of the mask excited a great amount of curiosity 
in the people, the foremost of whom strained their eyes to 
discover who it could be. But they could discern nothing 
but a man of middle height, dressed in black, apparently of a 
certain age, for the end of a gray beard peeped out from the 
bottom of the mask which concealed his features. 

The king's request had undoubtedly been acceded to by ,an 
affirmative sign, for in firm, sonorous accents, which vibrated 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 399 

in the depths of Athos' heart, the king began his speech, ex 
plaining his conduct, and counseling them for the welfare of 
England. 

He was interrnpted by the noise of the axe grating on the 
block. 

"Do not touch the axe," said the king, and resumed his 
speech. 

At the end of his speech, the king looked tenderly round 
upon the people. Then, unfastening the diamond ornament 
which the queen had sent him, he placed it in the hands of 
the priest who accompanied Juxon. Then he drew from hif 
breast a little cross set in diamonds, which, like the order, 
had been the gift of Henrietta Maria. 

"Sir," said he to the priest, "I shall keep this cross in my 
hand till the last moment. You will take it from me when I 
am dead." 

He then took his hat from his head, and threw it on the 
ground. One by one, he undid the buttons of his doublet, 
took it off, and deposited it by the side of his hat. Then, as 
it was cold, he asked for his gown, which was brought to him. 

All the preparations were made with a frightful calmness. 
One would have thought the king was going to bed, and not 
to his coffin. 

"Will these be in your way?" he said to the executioner, 
raising his long locks; "if so they can be tied up." 

Charles accompanied these words with a look designed to 
penetrate the mask of the unknown headsman. His calm, 
noble gaze forced the man to turn away his head, and the 
king repeated his question. 

"It will do," replied the man in a deep voice, "if you sepa 
rate them across the neck." 

"This block is very low; is there no other to be had?" 

"It is the usual block," answered the man in the mask. 

"Do you think you can behead me with a single blow?" 
asked the king. 

"I hope so," was the reply. There was something so 
strange in these three words that everybody except the king 
shuddered. 

"I do not wish to be taken by surprise," added the king. 
"I shall kneel down to pray, do not strike then." 

"When shall 1 strike?" 

"When I shall lay my head on the block, and say * Remem 
ber! ' then strike boldly." 

"Gentlemen," said the king to those around him, "I leave 
you to brave the tempest, and go before you to a kingdom 
which knows no storms. Farewp.il." 



400 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Then he knelt down, made the sign of the cross, and low 
ering his face to the planks, as if he wonld have kissed them, 
said in a low tone, in French, "Comte de la Fere, are you 
there?" 

"Yes, your majesty," he answered, trembling. 

"Faithful friend, noble heart!" said the king, "I should 
not have been rescued. 1 have addressed my people, and I 
have spoken to God; last of all I speak to you. To maintain 
a cause which I believe sacred, I have lost the throne, and 
my children their inheritance. A million in gold remains: I 
buried it in the cellars of Newcastle Keep. You only know 
that this money exists. Make use of it, then, whenever you 
think it will be most useful, for my eldest son's welfare. 
And now, farewell." 

"Farewell, saintly martyred majesty," lisped Athos, chilled 
with terror. 

A moment's silence ensued, and then, in a full, sonorous 
voice, the king said, "Remember!" 

He had scarcely uttered the word when a heavy blow shook 
the scaffold, and where Athos stood immovable a warm drop 
fell upon his brow. He reeled back with a shudder, and the 
same moment the drops became a black torrent. 

Athos fell on his knees, and remained some moments, as if 
bewildered or stunned. At last he rose, and taking his hand 
kerchief, steeped it in the blood of the martyred king. Then, 
as the crowd gradually dispersed, he leaped down, crept from 
behind the drapery, gliding between two horses, mingled with 
the crowd, and was the first to arrive at the inn. 

Having gained his room, he raised his hand to his forehead, 
and finding his fingers covered with the king's blood, fell 
down insensible. 



CHAPTER LXV. 

THE MAN IN THE MASK. 

THE snow was falling thick and frozen. Aramis was the 
next to come in, and to discover Athos almost insensible. 
But at the first words he uttered, the count roused from the 
kind of lethargy in which he had sunk. 

"Are you wounded?" cried Aramis. 

"No, this is his blood." 

"Where were you, then?" 

"Where you left me, under the scaffold." 

"Did you see it all?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 401 

"No, but I heard all. God preserve me from another such 
hour as I have just passed." 

" Here is the order he gave me, and the cross I took from 
his hand; he desired they should be returned to the queen." 

"Then here's a handkerchief to wrap them in," replied 
Athos, drawing from his pocket the one he had steeped in 
the king's blood. 

"And what," he continued, "has been done with the 
wretched body?" 

"By order of Cromwell, royal honors will be accorded to it. 
The doctors are busied embalming the corpse, and when ready 
it will be placed in a lighted chapel." 

"Mockery," muttered Athos savagely; "royal honors to 
one whom they have murdered !" 

"Well, cheer up," said a loud voice from the staircase, 
which Porthos had just mounted. " We are all mortal, my 
poor friends." 

"You are late, my dear Porthos." 

"Yes, there were some people on the way who delayed me. 
The wretches were dancing. I took one of them by the 
throat, and think I throttled him a little. Just then a patrol 
rode up. Luckily the man I had had most to do with was 
some minutes before he could speak, so I took advantage of 
his silence to walk off." 

"Have you seen D'Artagnan?" 

"We got separated in the crowd, and I could not find him 
again." 

"Oh!" said Athos satirically, "I saw him. He was in the 
front row of the crowd, admirably placed for seeing; and, as 
on the whole, the sight was curious, he probably wished to 
stay to the end." 

"Ah! Count de la Fe're," said a calm voice, though hoarse 
with running, "is it you who calumniate the absent?" 

This reproof stung Athos to the heart, but as the impres 
sion produced by seeing D'Artagnan foremost in a coarse, 
ferocious crowd had been very strong, he contented himself 
with replying: 

"I do not calumniate you, my friend. They were anxious 
about you here, and I told them where you were." 

So saying, he stretched out his hand, but the other pre 
tended not to see it, and he let it drop again slowly by his 
side. 

"Ugh! I am tired," cried D'Artagnan, sitting down. 

"Drink a glass of port," said Aramis; "it will refresh you." 

"Yes, let us drink," said Athos, anxious to make it up by 



402 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

hobnobbing glasses with D'Artagnan, "let us drink, and get 
away from this hateful country." 

"You are in a hurry, sir count," said D'Artaguan. 

"But what would you have us do here, now that the king 
is dead?" 

"Go, sir count," replied D'Artagnau carelessly; "you see 
nothing to keep you a little longer in England? Well, for 
my part, I, a bloodthirsty ruffian, who can go and stand close 
to a scaffold, in order to have a better view of the king's exe 
cution I remain." 

Athos turned pale. Every reproach his friend made struck 
deeply into his heart. 

Hang it!" said Porthos, a little perplexed between the two, 
"I suppose, as I came with you, I must leave with you. I 
can't leave you alone in this abominable country." 

"Thanks, my worthy friend. So then I have a little ad 
venture to propose to you when the count is gone. I want 
to find out who was the man in the mask, who so obligingly 
offered to cut the king's throat." 

"A man in a mask?" cried Athos. "You did not let the 
executioner escape, then?" 

"The executioner is still in the cellar, where, I presume, 
he has had a few words' conversation with mine host's bot 
tles. But you remind me. Mousqueton !" 

" Sir," answered a voice from the depths of the earth. 

"Let out your prisoner. All is over." 

"But," said Athos, "who is the wretch who has dared to 
raise his hand against his king?" 

"An amateur headsman," replied Aramis, "who, however, 
does not handle the axe amiss." 

"Did you not see his face?" asked Athos. 

"He wore a mask." 

"But yon, Aramis, who were close to him?" 

"I could see nothing but a gray beard under the bottom of 
the mask." 

" Then it must be a man of a certain age." 

Oh !" said D'Artagnan, " that matters little. " When one 
puts on a mask, it is not difficult to wear a beard under it." 

"I am sorry I did not follow him," said Porthos. 

"Well, my dear Porthos," said D'Artagnau, "that's the 
very thing which it came into my head to do." 

Athos understood it all now. 

"Forgive me, my friend," he said, offering his hand to 
D'Artagnan. 

"Well," said D'Artagnau, "while I was looking on, the 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 403 

fancy took me to discover who this masked individual might 
be. Well, I looked about for Porthos, and as I did so, I saw 
near me a head which had been broken, but which, for better 
or worse, had been mended with black silk. 'Humph!' 
thought I, 'that looks like my cut; I fancy I must have 
mended that skull somewhere or other.' And in fact, it was 
that unfortunate Scotchman, Parry's brother, you know, on 
whom Groslow amused himself by trying his strength. Well, 
this man was making signs to another at my left, and turning 
round, I recognized the honest Grimaud. 'Oh!' said I to 
him. Grimaud turned round with a jerk, recognized me, 
and pointed to the man in the mask. 'Eh?' said he, which 
meant, 'Do you see him?' 'ParlleuP I answered, and we 
perfectly understood one another. Well, everything finished 
you know how. The mob dispersed. I made a sign to 
Grimaud and the Scotchman, and we all three retired into a 
corner of the square. I saw the executioner return into the 
king's room, change his clothes, put on a black hat and a 
large cloak, and disappear. Five minutes later he came down 
the grand staircase." 

"You followed him?" cried Athos. 

"I should think so, but not without difficulty. Every 
minute he turned round, and thus obliged us to conceal our 
selves. I might have gone up to him and killed him. But 
I am not selfish ; and I thought it might console you all a 
little to have a share in the matter. So we followed him 
through the lowest streets in the city, and, in half an hour's 
time, he stopped hefore a small isolated house. Grimaud 
drew out a pistol. 'Eh?' said he, showing it. I held back 
his arm. The man in the mask stopped before a low door, 
and drew out a key; but before he placed it in the lock, he 
turned round to see if he waa not followed. Grimaud and I 
had got behind a tree, and the Scotchman having nowhere to 
hide himself, threw himself on his face in the road. Next 
moment the door opened, and the man disappeared. I placed 
the Scotchman at the door by which he entered, making a 
sign to him to follow the man wherever he might go, if he 
came out again. Then going round the house, I placed 
Grimaud at the other exit, and here I am. Our game is 
beaten up. Now for the tally-ho!" 

Athos threw himself into D'Artagnan's arms. 

"Humph!" said Porthos. "Don't you think the execu 
tioner might be Master Cromwell himself, who, to make sure 
of his affair, undertook it himself?" 

"Ah! just so. Cromwell is stout and short, and this man 
thin and lank, and rather tall than otherwise." 



404 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

"Some condemned soldier, perhaps," suggested Athos, 
"whom they have pardoned at the price of this deed." 

"No, no," continued D'Artagnan. "It was not the meas 
ured step of a foot-soldier, nor the easy gait of a horseman. 
If I am not mistaken, it was a gentleman's walk." 

" A gentleman !" exclaimed Athos. " Impossible ! It would 
be a disgrace to his whole family." 

"Fine sport, by Jove!" cried Porthos, with a laugh that 
shook the windows. "Fine sport!" 

"Swords!" cried Aramis, "swords! and let us not lose a 
moment." 

The four friends resumed their own clothes, girt on their 
swords, ordered Mpusquetpn and Blaisois to pay the bill, and 
to arrange everything for immediate departure, and, wrapped 
in their large cloaks, left in search of their game. 

The night was dark, the snow still falling, and the streets 
deserted. D'Artagnan led the way through the intricate 
windings and narrow alleys of the city, and ere long they had 
reached the house in question. For a moment D'Artagnan 
thought that Parry's brother had disappeared; but he was 
mistaken. The robust Scotchman, accustomed to the snows 
of his native hills, had stretched himself against a post, and 
like a fallen statue, insensible to the inclemencies of the 
weather, had allowed the snow to cover him. He rose, how 
ever, as they approached. 

" Come," said Athos, " here's another good servant. Really, 
honest men are not so scarce as I thought." 

"Don't be in a hurry to weave crowns for our Scotchman. 
I believe the fellow is here on his own acount; for I have 
heard that these gentlemen born beyond the Tweed are very 
vindictive. I should not like to be Groslow, if he meets him." 

"Well?" said Athos to the man in English. 

**No one has come out," he replied. 

"Then Porthos and Aramis, will you remain with this man, 
while we go round to Grimaud?" 

Grimaud had made himself a kind of sentry-box out of a 
hollow willow, and as they drew near, he put his head out 
and gave a low whistle. 

" Oh !" said Athos. 

"Yes," replied Grimaud. 

"Well, has anybody come out?" 

"No, but somebody has gone in." 

"A man or a woman?" 

"A man." At the same time he pointed to a window, 
through the shutters of which a faint light streamed. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 405 

They returned round the house to fetch Porthos and 
Aramis. 

"Have you seen anything?" they asked. 

"No, but we are going to," replied D'Artagnan, pointing 
to Grimaud, who had already climbed some five or six feet 
from the ground. 

All four came up together. Grimaud continued to climb 
like a cat, and succeeded at last in catching hold of a hook 
which served to keep one of the shutters back when opened. 
Then resting his foot on a small ledge, he made a sign to 
show that he was all right. 

"\Vell?" asked D'Artagnan. 

Grimaud showed his closed hande, with two fingers, spread 
out. 

"Speak," said Athos; "we cannot see your signs. How 
many are they?" 

" Two. One opposite to me, the other with his back to mo." 

"Good. And the man opposite to you is " 

"The man I saw go in." 

"Do you know him?" 

" I thought I recognized him, and was not mistaken. Short 
and stout." 

"Who is it?" they all asked together in a low tone. 

"General Oliver Cromwell." 

The four friends looked at one another. 

"And the other?" asked Athos. 

"Thin and lank." 

"The executioner," said D'Artagnan and Aramis at the 
same time. 

"I can see nothing but his back," resumed Grimaud. 
"But wait. He is moving; and if he has taken oE his mask 
I shall be able to see. Ah !" 

And, as if struck in the heart, he let go uhe hook, and 
dropped with a groan. 

"Did you see him?" they all asked. 

"Yes," said Grimaud, with his hair standing on end. 

"The thin and spare man?" 

"Yes." 

"The executioner, in short?" asked Aramis. 

"Yes." 

"And who is it?" said Porthos. 

"He he " murmured Grimaud, pale as death, and seiz 
ing his master's hand. 

"Who? He?" asked Athos. 

"Mordaunt!" replied Grimaud. 



406 TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 

D'Artagnan, Porthos, and Aramis uttered a cry of joy. 
Athos stepped back, and passed his hand over his brow. 
"Fatality!" he muttered. 



CHAPTER LXVI. 
CROMWELL'S HOUSE. 

IT was, in fact Mordaunt, whom D'Artagnan had fol 
lowed without knowing it. On entering the house he had 
taken off his mask and the false beard, and mounting a stair 
case had opened a door, and in a room lighted by a single 
lamp found himself face to face with a man seated behind a 
desk. 

This man was Cromwell. 

Cromwell had two or three of these retreats in London, 
unknown except to the most intimate of his friends. Now 
Mordaunt was among these. 

"It is you, Mordaunt," he said. "You are late." 

"General, I wished to see the ceremony to the end, which 
delayed me." 

"Ah! I scarcely thought you were so curious as that." 

"I am always curious to see the downfall of your honor's 
enemies, and that one was not among the least of them. 
But you, general, were you not at Whitehall?" 

"No," said Cromwell. 

There was a moment's silence. 

"Have you had any account of it?" 

"None. I have been here since the morning. I only know 
that there was a conspiracy to rescue the king." 

"Ah, you knew that," -said Mordaunt. 

"It matters little. Four men, disguised as workmen, were 
to get the king out of prison, and take him to Greenwich, 
where a skiff was waiting." 

"And, knowing all that, your honor remained here, far 
from the city, calm and inactive?" 

" Calm? yes," replied Cromwell. "But who told you I was 
inactive?" 

"But if the plot had succeeded?" 

"I wished it to do so." 

"I thought your excellence considered the death of Charles 
I. as a misfortune necessary to the welfare of England?" 

" Yes, his death ; but it would have been better not on the 
scaffold." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 407 

"Why so?" asked Mordaunt. 

Cromwell smiled. "Because it could have been said that I 
had had him condemned for the sake of justice, and had let 
him escape out of pity." 

"But if he had escaped?" 

"Impossible; my precautions were taken." 

"And does your honor know the four men who undertook 
to rescue him?" 

"The four Frenchmen, of whom two were sent by the 
queen to her husband, and two by Mazarin to me." 

"And do you think Mazarin commissioned them to act as 
they have done?" 

"It is possible. But he will not avow it." 

"How so?" 

"Because they failed." 

" Your honor gave me two of these Frenchmen when they 
were only fighting for Charles I. Now that they are guilty 
of a conspiracy against England, will your honor give me all 
four of them?" 

"Take them," said Cromwell. 

Mordaunt bowed with a smile of triumphant ferocity. 

"Did the people shout at all?" Cromwell asked. 

"Very little, except 'Long live Cromwell!' " 

" Where were you placed?" 

Mordaunt tried for a moment to read in the general's face 
if this was simply a useless question, or whether he knew 
everything. But his piercing eye could not penetrate the 
somber depths of Cromwell's. 

" I was placed so as to hear and see everything," he an 
swered. 

It was now Cromwell's turn to look fixedly at Mordaunt, 
and Mordaunt's to make himself impenetrable. 

"It appears," said Cromwell, "that this improvised execu 
tioner did his duty very well. The blow, so they told me at 
least, was struck with a master's hand." 

Mordaunt remembered that Cromwell had told him he had 
had no detailed account, and he was now quite convinced 
that the general had been present at the execution, hidden 
behind some curtain or blind. 

"Perhaps it was some one in the trade?" said Cromwell. 

"Do you think so, sir? He did not look like an execu 
tioner." 

"And who else than an executioner would have wished to 
fill that horrible office?" 

"But," said Mordaunt, "it might have been some personal 



408 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

enemy of the kiug, who may have made a vow of vengeance, 
and accomplished it in this manner." 

"Possibly." 

"And if that were the case, would your honor condemn 
his action?" 

" It is not for me to judge. It rests between him and God." 

"But if your honor knew this man?" 

" I neither know, nor wish to know him. Provided Charles 
is dead, it is the axe, not the man, we must thank." 

"And yet, without the man, the king would have been 
rescued." 

Cromwell smiled. 

"They would have carried him to Greenwich," he said, 
"and put him on board a skiff, with five barrels of powder in 
the hold. Once out at sea, you are too good a politician not 
to understand the rest, Mordaunt." 

"Yes, they would all have been blown up." 

"Just so. The explosion would have done what the axe 
had failed to do. They would have said that the king had 
escaped human justice, and been overtaken by God's arm. 
You see now why I did not care to know your gentleman in a 
mask." 

Mordaunt bowed humbly. "Sir," he said, "you are a pre- 
found thinker, and your plan was sublime." 

"Say absurd, since it is become useless. The only sublime 
ideas in politics are those which bear fruit. So, to-night, 
Mordaunt, go to Greenwich, and ask for the captain of the 
skifl 'Lightning.' Show him a white handkerchief knotted 
at the four corners, and tell the crew to disembark, and carry 
the powder back to the Arsenal, unless indeed " 

"Unless?" 

"This skiff might be of use to you for your personal 
projects. " 

"Oh my lord, my lord!" 

"That title," said Cromwell, laughing, "is all very well 
here, but take care a word like that does not escape in public." 

"But your honor will soon be called so generally." 

"I hope so, at least," said Cromwell, rising and putting on 
his cloak. 

"Then," said Mordauut, "your honor gives me full power?* 

"Certainly." 

"Thank you, thank you." 

Cromwell turned as he was going. 

"Are you armed?" he asked. 

"I have my sword." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 409 

"And no one waiting for you outside?" 

"No." 

"Then you had better come with me." 

"Thank you, sir, but the way by the subterranean passage 
would take me too much time, and I have none to lose." 

Cromwell placed his hand on a hidden handle, and opened 
a door so well concealed by the tapestry, that the most prac 
ticed eye could not have discovered it, and which closed after 
him with a spring. This door communicated with a subter 
ranean passage, leading under the street to a grotto in the 
garden of a house about a hundred yards from that of the 
future Protector. 

It was just before this that Grimaud had perceived the two 
men seated together. 

D'Artagnan was the first to recover from his surprise. 

"Mordaunt," he cried, "thank heaven!" 

"Yes," said Porthos, "let us knock the door in, and fall 
Upon him." 

"No," replied D'Artagnan, "no noise. Now, Grimaud, 
you come here, climb up to the window again, and tell us if 
Mordaunt is alone, and whether he is preparing to go out or 
to go to bed. If he comes out, we shall catch him. If he 
stays in, we will break in the window. It is easier and less 
noisy than the door." 

Grimaud began to scale the wall again. 

" Keep guard at the other door, Athos and Aramis. Por 
thos and I will stay here." 

The friends obeyed. 

"He is alone," said Grimaud 

"We did not see his companion come out." 

"He may have gone by the other door." 

"What is he doing?" 

"Putting on his cloak and gloves." 

"He is ours," muttered D'Artagnan. 

Porthos mechanically drew his dagger from the scabbard. 

"Put it up again, my friend," said D'Artagnan. "We 
must proceed in an orderly manner." 

"Hush!" said Grimaud, "he is coming out. He has put 
out the lamp. I can see nothing now." 

"Get down then, get down." 

Grimaud leaped down, and the snow deadened the noise of 
his fall. 

" Now, go and tell Athos and Aramis to stand on each side 
of their door, and clap their hands if they catch him. We 
will do the same." 
18 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



410 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

The next moment the door opened, and Mordaunt appeared 
on the threshold, face to face with D'Artagnan. Forth os 
clapped his hands, and the other two came running round. 
Mordaunt was livid, but he nttered no cry, nor called for 
assistance. D'Artagnan quietly pushed him in again, and 
by the light of a lamp on the staircase made him ascend the 
steps backward one by one, keeping his eyes all the time on 
Mordaunt's hands, who, however, knowing that it was use 
less, attempted no resistance. At last they stood face to face 
in the very room where ten minutes before Mordaunt had 
been talking to Cromwell. 

Porthos came up behind, and unhooking the lamp on the 
staircase re-lit that in the room. Athos and Aramis entered 
last and locked the door after them. 

"Oblige me by taking a seat," said D'Artagnan, pushing a 
chair toward Moidaunt, who sat down, pale but calm. Ara 
mis, Porthos, and D'Artagnan drew their chairs near him. 
Athos a 1 one kept away, and sat in the furthest corner of the 
room, as if determined to be merely a spectator of the pro 
ceedings. He seemed to be quite overcome. Porthos rubbed 
his hands in feverish impatience. Aramis bit his lips till the 
blood came. 

D'Artagnau alone was calm, at least in appearance. 

"Monsieur Mordaunt," he said, "since, after running after 
one another so long, chance has at last brought us together, 
let us have a little conversation, if you please." 



CHAPTER LXVII. 

CONVERSATIONAL. 

THOUGH Mordaunt had been so completely taken by sur 
prise, and had mounted the stairs under the impression of 
utter confusion, when once seated he recovered himself, as it 
were, and prepared to seize any possible opportunity of escap 
ing. ' His eye wandered to a long stout sword on his flank, 
and he instinctively slipped it round within reach of his right 
hand. 

D'Artagnan was waiting for a reply to his remark, and said 
nothing. Aramis muttered to himself, " We shall hear noth 
ing but the usual commonplace things." 

Porthos sucked his mustache, muttering, "A good deal of 
ceremony here about crushing an adder." Athos shrunk into 
his corner, pale and motionless as a bas-relief. 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 411 

The silence, however, could not last, forever. So D'Ar- 
tagnan began : 

"Sir," he said, with desperate politeness, "it seems to me 
that yon change your costume almost as rapidly as I have 
seen the Italian mummers do, whom the Cardinal Mazarin 
brought over from Bergamo, and whom he doubtless took 
you to see, during your travels in France." 

Mordaunt did not reply. 

"Just now," D'Artagnan continued, "you were disguised 
I mean to say, attired as a murderer, and now " 

"And now I look very much like a man who is going to be 
murdered." 

"Oh! sir," answered D'Artagnan, "how can you talk like 
that when you are in the company of gentlemen, and have 
such an excellent sword at your side." 

"No sword is good enough to be of any use against four 
swords and four daggers." 

"Well, that is scarcely the question. I had the honor of 
asking you why you altered your costume. Surely the mask 
and beard suited you very well, and as to the axe, I do not 
think it would be out of keeping even at this moment." 

" Because, remembering the scene at Armentieres, I thought 
I should find four axes for one, as I was to meet four execu 
tioners." 

"Sir," replied D'Artagnan, in the calmest manner possible; 
"yon are very young; I shall therefore overlook your frivo 
lous remarks. What took place at Armentieies has no con 
nection whatever with the present occasion. We could 
scarcely have requested your mother to take a sword and 
fight with us." 

"Aha! It's a duel then?" replied Mordaunt, as if disposed 
to reply at once to the provocation. 

Porthos rose, always ready for this kind of adventure. 

"Pardon me," said D'Artagnan. "Do not let us be in a 
hurry. We will arrange the matter rather better. Confess, 
Monsieur Mordaunt, that you are anxious to kill some of us." 

"All," replied Mordaunt. 

"Then, my dear sir, I am convinced that these gentlemen 
return your kind wishes, and will be delighted to kill you 
also. Of course they will do so as honorable gentlemen, and 
the best proof I can furnish is this " 

So saying, he threw his hat on the ground, pushed back 
his chair to the wall, and bowed to Mordaunt with true 
French grace. 

"At your service, sir," he continued. " My sword is shorter 



412 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 



yours, it's trne, but bah! I hope the arm will make up 
for the sword." 

"Halt!" cried Porthos, comiug forward. "I begin, and 
that's logic." 

"Allow me, Porthos," said Aramis. 

Athos did not move. You might have taken him for a 
itatue. 

"Gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, "you shall have your turn. 
Monsieur Mordaunt dislikes you sufficiently not to refuse you 
afterward. You can see it in his eye. So pray keep your 
places, like Athos, whose calmness is most laudable. Besides, 
we will have no words about it. I have a particular business 
to settle with this gentleman, and I shall and will begin." 

Porthos and Aramis drew back disappointed ; and, drawing 
his sword, D'Artagnan turned to his adversary. 

"Sir, I am waiting for you." 

"And for my part, gentlemen, I admire you. You are 
disputing which shall fight me first, and you do not consult 
Una, who am most concerned in the matter. I hate you all, 
but not equally. I claim the right to choose my opponent. 
If you refuse this right, you may kill me, for I shall not fight." 

"It is but fair," said Porthos and Aramis, hoping he would 
choose one of them. 

"Well, then," said Mordaunt, "I choose for my adversary 
the man who, not thinking himself worthy to be called Comte 
de la Fere, calls himself Athos." 

Athos sprang up, but after an instant of motionless silence, 
he said, to the astonishment of his friends, "Monsieur Mor- 
daunt, a duel between us is impossible. Give this honor to 
somebody else." And he sat down. 

"Ah!" said Mordaunt with a sneer, "there's one who is 
afraid." 

"Zounds!" cried D'Artagnan, bounding toward him, "who 
says that Athos is afraid ?" 

"Let him go on, D'Artagnan," said Athos, with a smile of 
sadness and contempt. 

"Is it your decision, Athos?" resumed the Gascon. 

"Yes, irrevocably." 

"You hear, sir," said D'Artagnan, turning to Mordaunt, 
"choose one of us to replace the Comte de la Fre." 

"As long as I don't fight with him, it is the same to me 
with whom I fight. Put your names into a hat, and draw 
lots." 

"At least that will conciliate us all," said Aramis. 

"I should never have thought of that," said Porthos, "and 
yet it's a very simple plan." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 413 

Aramis went to Cromwell's desk, and wrote the three names 
on slips of paper, which he threw into a hat. 

Mordaunt drew one and threw it on the table. 

"Ah! serpent," muttered D'Artagnan; "I would give my 
chance of a captaincy in the ' Mousquetaires 1 for that to be my 
name." 

Aramis opened the paper, and in a voice trembling with 
hate and vengeance, read, "D'Artagnan." 

The Gascon uttered a cry of joy, and turning to Mordaunt: 

"I hope, sir," said he, "you have no objection to make." 

"None whatever," replied the other, drawing his sword and 
resting the point on his boot." 

The moment that D'Artagnan saw that his wish was ac 
complished, and his man would not escape him, he recovered 
his usual tranquillity. He turned up his cuffs neatly, and 
rubbed the sole of his right boot on the floor, but did not fail, 
however, to remark that Mordaunt was looking about him in 
a singular manner. 

"Are you ready, sir?" he said at last. 

" I was waiting for you, sir," said Mordaunt, raising his 
head and casting at his opponent a look which it would be 
impossible to describe. 

"Well, then," said the Gascon, "take care of yourself, for 
I am not a bad hand at the rapier." 

"Nor I either." 

"So much the better. That sets my mind at rest. Defend 
yourself." 

"One minute," said the young man; "give me your word, 
gentlemen, that you will not attack me otherwise than one 
after the other." 

"Is it to have the pleasure of insulting us that you say 
that, little serpent?" 

"No, but to set my mind at rest, as you said just now." 

"It is for something else than that, I imagine," muttered 
D'Artagnan, shaking his head doubtfully. 

" On the honor of gentlemen,'' said Aramis and Porthos. 

"In that case, gentlemen, have the kindness to retire into 
the corners, and leave us room. We shall want it." 

"Yes, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, "we must not leave 
this person the slightest pretext for behaving badly, which, 
with all due respect, I fancy he is anxious to do." 

This new attack made no impression on Mordaunt. The 
space was cleared, the two lamps placed on Cromwell's desk, 
in order that the combatants might have as much light as 
possible; and the swords crossed. 



414 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

D'Artagnan was too good a swordsman to trifle with his 
opponent. He made a rapid and brilliant feint, which Mor- 
daunt parried. 

"Aha!" he cried, with a smile of satisfaction. 

And withont losing a minute, thinking he saw an opening, 
he thrust right in, and forced Mordaunt to parry a counter- 
qnart so fine that the point of the weapon might have turned 
within a wedding ring. 

This time it was Mordannt who smiled. 

"Ah, sir," said D'Artagnan, "you have a wicked smile. 
It must have been the devil who taught it you, was it not?" 

Mordaunt replied by trying his opponent's weapon with an 
amount of strength which the Gascon was astonished to find 
in a form apparently so weak; but, thanks to a parry no less 
clever than that- which Mordaunt had just achieved, he suc 
ceeded in meeting his sword, which slid along his own without 
touching his chest. 

Mordaunt rapidly sprang back a step. 

"Ah, you lose ground, you are turning? Well, as you 
please. I even gain something by it, for I no longer see that 
wicked smile of yours. You have no idea what a false look 
you have, particularly when you are afraid. Look at my 
eyes, and you will see what your looking-glass never showed 
you a frank and honorable countenance." 

To this flow of words, not perhaps in the best taste, but 
characteristic of D'Artagnan, whose principal object was to 
divert his opponent's attention, Mordaunt did not reply, but, 
continuing to turn round, he succeeded in changing places 
with D'Artagnan. 

He smiled more and more, and his smile began to make the 
Gascon anxious. 

"Come, come," said D'Artagnan, "we must finish with 
this," and in his turn he pressed Mordannt hard, who con 
tinued to lose ground but evidently on purpose, and without 
letting his sword leave the line for a moment. However, as 
they were fighting in a room, and had not space to go on like 
that forever, Mordaunt's foot at last touched the wall, against 
which he rested his left hand. 

"Ah, this time you cannot lose ground, my fine friend," 
exclaimed D'Artagnan. "Gentlemen, did you ever see a 
scorpion pinned to a wall? No. Well, then, you shall see it 
now." 

In a second D'Artagnan had made three terrible thrusts at 
Mordaunt, all of which touched but only pricked him. The 
three friends looked on panting and astonished. At last 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 415 

D'Artagnan, having got np too close, stepped back to prepare 
a fourth thrust, but the moment when, after a fine, quick 
feint, he was attacking as sharply as lightning, the wall 
seemed to give way, Mordaunt disappeared through the open 
ing, and D'Artaguan's sword, caught between the panels, 
shivered like glass. D'Artagnan sprang back; the wall had 
closed again. 

Mordaunt, in fact, while defending himself, had maneu 
vered so as to reach the secret door by which Cromwell had 
left, had felt for the handle with his left hand, turned it, and 
disappeared. 

The Gascon uttered a furious imprecation, which was an 
swered by a wild laugh on the other side of the iron panel. 

"Help me, gentlemen," cried D'Artagnan, "we must break 
in this door." 

"He escapes us," growled Porthos, pushing his huge shoul 
der against the hinges, but in vain. "'Sblood, he escapes 
us." 

"So much the better," muttered Athos. 

" I thought as much," said D'Artagnan, wasting his strength 
in useless efforts. "Zounds, I thought as much, when the 
wretch kept moving round the room. I thought he was up 
to something !" 

"It's a misfortune which his friend, the devil, sends us," 
said Aramis. 

" It's a piece of good fortune sent from heaven," said Athos, 
evidently pleased. 

"Really!" said D'Artagnan, abandoning the attempt to 
burst open the panel after several ineffectual attempts," Athos, 
I cannot imagine how you can talk to us in that way. You 
cannot understand the position we are in. In this kind of 
game, not to kill, is to let one's self be killed. This wretched 
fellow will be sending us a hundred Iron-sided beasts who 
will pick us off like berries in this place. Come, come, we 
must be off. If we stay here five minutes more, there's an 
end of us." 

"Yes, you are right." 

"But where shall we go to?" asked Porthos. 

"To the hotel, to be sure, to get our baggage and horses; 
and from there, if it please God, to France, where, at least, I 
understand the architecture of the houses." 

So, suiting the action to the word, D'Artagnau thrust the 
remains of his sword into its scabbard, picked up his hat, and 
ran down the stairs followed by the others. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

CHAPTER LXVIII. 

THE SKIFF "LIGHTNING." 

MORDAUNT glided through the subterranean passage, and, 
gaining the neighboring house, stopped to take breath. 

"Good," said he, "a mere nothing. Scratches, that is all. 
Now to my work." 

He walked on at a quick pace, till he reached a neighboring 
cavalry-barrack, where he happened to be known. Here he 
borrowed a horse, the best in the stables, and in a quarter of 
an hour was at Greenwich. 

" 'Tis well," said he, as he reached the river bank. "I am 
half an hour before them. Now," he added, rising in the 
stirrup, and looking about him, "which, I wonder, is the 
'Lightning?'" 

At this moment, as if to reply to his words, a man lying 
on a heap of cables rose and advanced a few steps toward him. 
Mordaunt drew a handkerchief from his pocket, and tying a 
knot at each corner the signal agreed upon waved it in the 
air, and the man came up to him. He was wrapped in a 
large rough cape, which concealed his form and partly his 
face. 

"Do you wish to go on the water, sir?" said the sailor. 

"Yes, just so. Along the Isle of Dogs." 

"And perhaps you have a preference for one boat more 
than another. You would like one that sails as rapidly " 

" As lightning," interrupted Mordaunt. 

"Then mine is the boat you want, sir. I'm your man." 

" I begin to think so, particularly if you have not forgotten 
a certain signal." 

"Here it is, sir," and the sailor took from his coat a hand 
kerchief, tied at each corner. 

"Good; quite right!" cried Mordaunt, springing off his 
horse. "There is no time to lose; now take my horse to the 
nearest inn, and conduct me to your vessel." 

"But," asked the sailor, "where are your companions? I 
thought there were four of you." 

" Listen to me, sir; I'm not the man you take me for; you 
are in Captain Rogers' post, are you not? under orders from 
General Cromwell? Mine, also, are from him!" 

"Indeed, sir, I recognize you; you are Captain Mordaunt. 

"Don't be afraid, you are with a friend. I am Captain 
Groslow. Tlu general remembered that I had formerly been 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 417 

a naval officer, and he gave me the command of this expedi 
tion; has anything new occurred?" 

"Nothing." 

" I thought, perhaps, that the king's death " 

"It has only hastened their flight; in ten minutes they 
will, perhaps, be here. I am going to embark with you. 1 
wish to aid in the deed of vengeance. All is ready, I suppose?" 

"Yes." 

"The cargo on board?" 

"Yes and we are sailing from Oporto to Antwerp, 
remember." 

"'Tiswell." 

They then went down to the Thames. A boat was fastened 
to the shore by a chain fixed to a stake. Groslow jumped in, 
followed by Mordaunt, and in five minutes they were quite a 
way from that world of houses which then crowded the out 
skirts of London; and Mordaunt could discern the little ves 
sel riding at anchor near the Isle of Dogs. When they reached 
the side of this felucca, Mordaunt, dexterous in his eager 
desire for vengeance, seized a rope, and climbed up the sides 
of the vessel with a coolness and agility very rare among 
landsmen. He went with Groslow to the captain's berth a 
sort of temporary cabin of planks for the chief apartment 
had been given up by Captain Eogers to the passengers, who 
were to be accommodated at the other extremity of the boat. 

"They will have nothing to do with this side of the ship, 
then," said Mordaunt. 

"Nothing at all." 

" That's a capital arrangement. Return to Greenwich, and 
bring them here. I shall hide myself in your cabin. You 
have a long boat?" 

"That in which we came." 

"It appears light, and well-constructed." 

"Quite a canoe." 

"Fasten it to the poop with ropes put the oars into it, 
so that it may follow in the track, and that there will be 
nothing to do except to cut the cord away. Put a good sup 
ply of rum and biscuit in it for the seamen; should the night 
happen to be stormy, they will not be sorry to find something 
to console themselves with." 

"All shall be done. Do you wish to see the powder-room?" 

"No; when you return, I will put the match myself; but 
be careful to conceal your face, so that you cannot be recog 
nized by them." 

"Never fear." 



418 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"There's ten o'clock striking at Greenwich." 

Groslow, then, having given the sailor on duty an order to 
be on the watch with more than usual attention, went down 
into the long boat, and soon reached Greenwich. The wind 
was chilly, and the jetty was deserted as he approached it; 
but he had no sooner landed than he heard a noise of horses 
galloping upon the paved road. 

These horsemen were our friends, or rather, an avant-guard, 
composed of D'Artaguan and Athos. As soon as they arrived 
at the spot where Groslow stood, they stopped, as if guessing 
that he was the man they wanted. Athos alighted, and 
calmly opened the handkerchief tied at each corner, and un 
folded it; while D'Artagnan, ever cautious, remained on 
horseback, one hand upon his arms, leaning anxiously forward. 

On seeing the appointed signal, Groslow, who had, at first, 
crept behind one of the cannon planted on that spot, walked 
straight up to the gentlemen. He was so well wrapped up in 
his cloak that it would have been impossible to have seen his 
face even if the night had not been so dark as to render any 
precaution superfluous; nevertheless, the keen glance of Athos 
perceived that it was not Kogers who stood before them. 

" What do you want with us?" he asked of Groslow. 

"I wish to inform you, my lord," replied Groslow, with an 
Irish accent, feigned of course, "that if you are looking for 
Captain Kogers you will not find him. He fell down this 
morning and broke his leg; but I'm his cousin; he told me 
everything, and desired me to look out for, and to conduct 
you, to any place named by the four gentlemen who should 
bring me a handkerchief tied at each corner, like that one 
which you hold, and one which I have in my pocket." 

And he drew out the handkerchief. 

"Was that all he said?" inquired Athos. 

"No, my lord; he said you had engaged to pay seventy 
pounds if I landed you safe and sound at Boulogne, or any 
other port you choose, in France." 

"What do you think of all this?" said Athos, in a low tone 
to D'Artagnan, after explaining to him in French what the 
sailor had said in English. 

"It seems a likely story to me." 

"And to me, too." 

" Besides, we can but blow out his brains if he proves false," 
said the Gascon; "and you, Athos, you know something of 
everything, and can be our captain. I dare say you know 
how to navigate, should he fail us." 

"My dear friend, you guess well; my father destined me 
for the navy, and I have some vague notions about navigation." 



J.WENTY YEARS AFTER. 419 

"You see!" cried D'Artagnan. 

They then summoned their friends, who, with Blaisois, 
Mousqueton, and Grimand, promptly joined them leaving 
behind them Parry, who was to take their horses back to 
London; and they all proceeded instantly to the shore, and 
placed themselves in the boat, which, rowed by Groslow, began 
rapidly to clear the coast. 

"At last," exclaimed Porthos, "we are afloat." 

"Alas!" said Athos, "we depart alone." 

"Yes; but all four together, and without a scratch; which 
is a consolation." 

" We are not yet arrived at our destination," observed the 
prudent D'Artagnan; "beware of rencounters." 

"Ah! my friend!" cried Porthos; "like the crows, you 
always bring bad omens. Who could intercept us in such a 
night as this pitch dark when one does not see more than 
twenty yards before one?" 

" Yes but to-morrow morning " 

"To-morrow we shall be at Boulogne; however, I like to 
hear Monsieur d'Artagnan confess that he's afraid." 

"I not only confess it, but am proud of it," returned the 
Gascon ; " I'm not such a rhinoceros as you are. Oho ! what's 
that?" 

"The 'Lightning,'" answered the captain, "our felucca." 

"We are then arrived?" said Athos. 

They went on board, and the captain instantly conducted 
them to the berth destined for them a cabin which was to 
serve for all purposes, and for the whole party; he then tried 
to slip away under pretext of giving orders to some one. 

"Stop a moment," cried D'Artaguan; "pray how many 
men have you on board, captain?" 

"I don't understand," was the reply. 

"Explain it, Athos," 

Groslow, on the question being interpreted, answered: 

"Three, without counting myself." 

"Oh!" exclaimed D'Artagnan. "I begin to be more at 
my ease; however, while you settle yourselves, I shall make 
the round of the boat." 

"As for me," said Porthos, "I will see to the supper." 

"A very good deed, Porthos," said the Gascon. "Athos, 
lend me Grimaud, who in the society of his friend Parry, 
has, perhaps, picked up a little English, and can act as my 
interpreter." 

"Go, Grimaud," said Athos. 

D'Artagnan, finding a lantern on the deck, took it up, 



420 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

and with a pistol in his hand, he said to the captain, in Eng 
lish, "Come" (being, -with the usual English oath, the only 
English words he knew), and so saying, he descended to the 
lower deck. 

This was divided into three compartments; one which was 
covered by the floor of that room in which Athos, Porthos, 
and Aramis were to pass the night; the second was to serve 
as the sleeping room for the servants; the third, under the 
prow of the ship, was underneath the temporary cabin in 
which Mordannt was concealed. 

"Oho!" cried D'Artagnan, as he went down the steps of 
the hatchway, preceded by the lantern; "what a number of 
barrels! one wonld think one was in the cave of Ali Baba. 
What is tnere in them?" he added, putting his lantern on 
one of the bins. 

The captain seemed inclined to go upon deck again, but, 
controlling himself, he answered: 

"Port wine." 

"Ah! port wine! 'tis a comfort," said the Gascon, "that 
we shall not die of thirst; are they all full?" 

Grimaud translated the question, and Groslow, who was 
wiping the perspiration from off his forehead, answered: 

"Some full, others empty." 

D'Artagnan struck the barrels with his hand, and having 
ascertained that he spoke the truth, pushed his lantern, 
greatly to the captain's alarm, into the interstices between 
ehe barrels, and finding that there was nothing concealed in 
them 

"Come along, he said; and he went toward the door of the 
second compartment. 

"Stop!" said the Englishman. "I have the key of that 
door;" and he opened the door with a trembling hand, to the 
second compartment, where Mousqueton and Blaisois were 
just going to supper. 

Here there was evidently nothing to seek, or to reprehend, 
and they passed rapidly to examine the third compartment. 

This was the room appropriated to the sailors. Two or 
three hammocks hung up on the ceiling, a table and two 
benches composed all the furniture. D'Artagnan picked up 
two or three old sails, hung on the walls, and seeing nothing 
4o suspect regained by the hatchway the deck of the vessel. 

"And this room?" he asked, pointing to the captain's cabin. 

"That's my room," replied Groslow. 

"Open the door." 

The captain obeyed. D'Artagnan stretched out his arm, 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 421 

in which he held the lantern, put his head in at the half 
opened door, and seeing that the cabin was nothing better 
than a shed 

"Good!" he said. "If there is an army on board, it is not 
here that it is hidden. Let us see what Porthos has found 
for supper." And thanking the captain, he regained the state 
cabin, where his friends were. 

Porthos had found nothing; and fatigue had prevailed over 
hunger. He had fallen asleep, and was in a profound slum 
ber when D'Artagnan returned. Athos and Aramis were 
beginning to close their eyes, which they half opened when 
their companion came in again. 

"Well?" said Aramis. 

"All is well; we may sleep tranquilly." 

On this assurance the two friends fell asleep; and D'Ar 
tagnan, who was very weary, bade good-night to Grimaud, 
and laid himself down in his cloak, with a naked sword at his 
side, in such a manner that his body might barricade the 
passage, and that it should be impossible to enter the room 
without overturning him. 



CHAPTER LXIX. 

PORT WINE. 

IN ten minutes the masters slept; but not so the servants 
hungry and uncomfortable. 

"Grimaud," said Mousqueton to his companion, who had 
just come in after his round with D'Artagnau, "art thou 
thirsty?" 

"As thirsty as a Scotchman !" was Grimaud 's laconic reply. 

And he sat down and began to cast up the accounts of his 
party, whose money he managed. 

"Oh law! lackadaisy! I'm beginning to feel queer!" cried 
Blaisois. 

"If that's the case," said Mousqueton, with a learned air, 
"take some nourishment." 

"Do you call that nourishment" asked Blaisois, pointing 
to the barley bread and the pot of beer. 

"Blaisois," replied Mousqueton, "remember that bread is 
the true nourishment of a Frenchman, who is not always able 
to get bread: ask Grimaud." 

"Yes, but beer?" asked Blaisois sharply; "is that their 
true drink?" 

"As to that," answered Mousqueton, puzzled how to get 



422 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

out of the difficulty, "I must confess, that to me, beer ia as 
disagreeable as wine to the English." 

"How? Monsieur Mousqueton! How the English do 
they dislike wine?" 

"They hate it." 

"But I have seen them drink it." 

"As a punishment; for example, an English prince died 
ona day because he was put into a butt of Malmsey. I heard 
the Chevalier d'Herblay say so." 

"The fool!" cried Blaisois; "I wish I had been in his 
place." 

"Thou canst be," said Grimaud, writing down his figures. 

"How?" asked Blaisois; "lean? Explain yourself." 

Grimaud went on with his sum, and cast up the whole. 

"Port!" he said, extending his hand in the direction of the 
first compartment examined by D'Artagnan and himself. 

"How those barrels I saw through the door?" 

"Port!" replied Grimaud, who began a fresh sum. 

"1 have heard," said Blaisois, "that port is a very good 
wine." 

"Excellent!" cried Mousqueton, smacking his lips. 

"Excellent!" 

"Supposing these Englishmen would sell us a bottle," said 
the honest Blaisois. 

"Sell!" cried Mousqueton, about whom there was a rem 
nant of his ancient marauding character left. "One may 
well perceive, young man, that you are still inexperienced. 
Why buy when one can take?" 

"To take?" answered Blaisois. " To covet one's neighbor's 
goods is forbidden, I believe." 

"What a childish reason!" said Monsqueton, condescend 
ingly; "yes, childish; I repeat the word. Where did you 
learn, pray, to consider the English as your neighbors?" 

" The saying's true, dear Mouston ; but I don't remember 
where." 

"Childish still more childish," replied Monsqueton. 
"Hadst thou been ten years engaged in war, as Grimaud and 
I hare been, my dear Blaisois, you would know the difference 
that there is between the goods of others and the goods of 
your enemies. Now an Englishman is an enemy; as this port 
wine belongs to the English, therefore it belongs to us." 

"And our masters?" asked Blaisois, stupefied by this 
harangue, delivered with an air of profound sagacity, "will 
they be of your opinion?" 

Mousqueton smiled disdainfully. 



TWENTY TEAKS AFTER. 423 

" I suppose you think it necessary that I should disturb the 
repose of these illustrious lords to say, 'Gentlemen, your serv 
ant, Mousqueton, is thirsty.' What does Monsieur de Bra- 
cieux care, think you, whether I am thirsty or not?" 

"'Tis a very expensive wine," said Blaisois, shaking his 
head. 

"Were it gold, Monsieur Blaisois, our masters would not 
deny themselves this wine. Know that Monsieur de Bracienx 
is rich enough to drink a tun of port wine, even if obliged to 
pay a pistole for every drop." His manner became more and 
more lofty every instant: then he arose, and after finishing 
off the beer at one draught, he advanced majestically to the 
door of the compartment where the wine was. " Ah ! locked !" 
he exclaimed ; " these devils of English, how suspicious they 
are!" 

"Shut!" cried Blaisois; "ah, the deuce it is; unlucky, for 
I feel the sickness coming on more and more." 

"Shut!" repeated Mousqueton. 

"But," Blaisois ventured to say, "I have heard you relate, 
Monsieur Mousqueton, that once on a time, at Chantilly, you 
fed your master and yourself with partridges which were 
snared, carps caught by a line, and wine drawn with a cork 
screw." 

"Perfectly true; but there was an air-hole in the cellar, 
and the wine was in bottles. I cannot throw the loop through 
this partition, nor move with a pack-thread a cask of wine 
which may, perhaps, weigh two hogsheads." 

"No, but you can take out two or three boards of the par 
tition," answered Blaisois, "and make a hole in the cask with 
a gimlet. 

Mousqueton opened his great round eyes to the utmost, 
astonished to find in Blaisois qualities for which he did not 
give him credit. 

"'Tis true," he said, "but where can I get a chisel to take 
the planks out a gimlet to pierce the cask?" 

"The trousers!" said Grimaud, still balancing his accounts. 

"Ah, yes!" said Mousqueton. 

Grimaud, in fact, was not only the accountant, but the 
armorer of the party ; and as he was a man full of forethought 
these trousers, carefully rolled up in his valise, contained 
every sort of tool for immediate use. 

Mousqueton, therefore, was soon provided with tools, and 
he began his task. In a few minutes he had got out three 
pieces of board. He tried to pass his body through the aper 
ture; but, not being like the frog in the fable, who thought 



424 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

he was larger than he really was, he found he must take out 
three or four more pieces of wood before he could get through. 

He sighed, and began to work again. 

Grimaud had now finished his accounts. He arose, and 
stood near Mousqueton. 

" I" he said 

"What?" said Mousqueton. 

"I can pass " 

" True you " answered Mousqueton, casting a glance ax 
the long thin form of his friend; "you can pass, and easily 
go in then." 

"Binse the glasses," said Grimaud. 

"Now," said Mousqueton, addressing Blaisois, "now you 
will see how we old soldiers drink when we are thirsty." 

"My cloak," said Grimaud, from the bottom of the cellar. 

"What do you want?" asked Blaisois. 

"My cloak stop up the aperture with it." 

"Why?" asked Blaisois. 

"Simpleton!" exclaimed Mousqueton; "suppose any one 
came into the room." 

"Ah, true!" cried Blaisois, with evident admiration; "but 
it will be dark in the cellar." 

"Grimaud always sees, dark or light night as well as day," 
answered Mousqueton. 

"Silence!" cried Grimaud, "some one is coming." 

In fact, the door of their cabin was opened. Two men, 
wrapped in their cloaks, appeared. 

"Oh, ho!" said they, "not in bed at a quarter past eleven. 
That's against all rules. In a quarter of an hour let every 
one be in bed, and snoring." 

These two men then went toward the compartment in which 
Grimaud was secreted; opened the door, entered, and shut it 
after them. 
."Ah!" cried Blaisois; "he's lost!" 

"Grimaud's a cunning fox," murmured Mousqueton. 

They waited for ten minutes, during which time no noise 
was heard which might indicate that Grimaud was discovered; 
and at the expiration of that anxious interval the two men 
returned, closed the door after them, and repeating their 
orders that the servants should go to bed, and extinguish 
their lights, disappeared. 

At that very moment Grimaud drew back the cloak which 
hid the aperture, and came in with his face livid, his eyes 
staring wide open with terror, so that the pupil was contracted 
almost to nothing, with a large circle of white around it. He 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 425 

held in his hand a tankard full of some substance or another; 
and approaching the gleam of light shed by the lamp he ut 
tered this single monosyllable "Oh!" with such an expres 
sion of extreme terror that Mousqueton started, alarmed, an 
Blaisois was near fainting from fright. 

Both, however, cast an inquisitive glance into the tankard 
it was full of powder. 

Convinced that the ship was full of powder instead of hav 
ing a cargo of wine, Grimaud hastened to awake D'Artagnan, 
who had no sooner beheld him than he perceived that some 
thing extraordinary had taken place. Imposing silence, 
Grimaud put out the little night lamp, then knelt down, and 
poured into the lieutenant's ear a recital melodramatic enough 
not to require play of feature to give it force. 

This was the pith of his story. 

The first barrel that Grimaud had found on passing into 
the cellar, he struck it was empty. He passed on to another 
it was also empty; but the third which he tried was, from 
the dull sound that it gave out, evidently full. At this point 
Grimaud stopped, and was preparing to make a hole with his 
gimlet, when he found a spigot; he therefore placed his tank 
ard under it, and turned the spout; something, whatever it 
was that the cask contained, fell into the tankard. 

While he was thinking that he should first taste the liquor 
which the tankard contained, before taking it to his compan 
ions, the door of the cellar opened, and a man with a lantern 
in his hands, and enveloped in a cloak, came and stood just 
before the barrel, behind which Grimaud, on hearing him 
come in, instantly crept. This was Groslow. He was ac 
companied by another man who carried in his hand something 
long and flexible, rolled up, resembling a washing line. 

"Have you the wick?" asked the one who carried the lan 
tern. 

"Here it is," answered the other. 

At the voice of this last speaker, Grimaud started, and felt 
a shudder creeping through his very bones. He rose gently, 
so that his head was just above the round of the barrel; and, 
under the large hat, he recognized the pale face of Mordaunt. 

"How long will this match burn?" asked this person. 

"Nearly five minutes," replied the captain. 

"Then tell the men to be in readiness don't tell them 
why now; when the clock strikes a quarter after midnight 
collect your men. Get down into the long boat." 

"That is, when I have lighted the match?" 

"I shall undertake that. I wish to be sure of my revenge 
are the oars in the 



426 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Everything is ready." 

"'Tis well." 

Mordauut knelt down and fastened one end of the train to 
the spigot, in order that he might have nothing to do but to 
set it on fire at the opposite end with the match. 

He then arose. 

"You heard me at a quarter past midnight in fact, in 
twenty minutes." 

"I understand it all perfectly, sir," replied Groslow; "but 
allow me to say, there is great danger in what you undertake 
would it not be better to entrust one of the men to set fire 
to the train?" 

"My dear Groslow," answered Mordaunt, "you know the 
French proverb, 'Nothing that one does not do one's self is 
ever well done.' I shall abide by that rule." 

Grimaud had heard all this had seen the two mortal ene 
mies of the musketeers had seen Mordaunt lay the train: 
then he felt, and felt again, the contents of the tankard that 
he held in his hand; and, instead of the liquid expected by 
Blaisois and Mousqueton, he found beneath his fingers the 
grains of some coarse powder. 

Mordannt went away with the captain. At the door he 
stopped to listen". 

"Do you hear how they sleep?" he said. 

In fact, Porthos could be heard snoring through the par 
tition. 

"'Tis God who gives them into our hands," answered 
Groslow. 

"This time the devil himself shall not save them," rejoined 
Mordaunt. 

And they went out together. 



CHAPTER LXX. 

END OF THE PORT WINE MYSTERY. 

D'ARTAGNAN, as one may suppose, listened to all these 
details with a growing interest. He awoke Aramis, Athos, 
and Porthos; and then, stretching out his arms, and closing 
them again, the Gascon collected in one small circle the three 
heads of his friends, so near as almost to touch each other. 

He then told them under whose command the vessel was in 
which they were sailing that night; that they had Groslow 
for their captain, and Mordaunt acting under him as his lieu- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 427 

tenant. Something more deathlike than a shudder, at this 
moment, shook the hrave musketeers. The name of Mor- 
dauut seemed to exercise over them a mysterious and fatal 
influence to bring terror even at the very sound. 

"What is to be done?" asked Athos. 

"You have some plan?" 

D'Artagnan replied by going toward a very small, low win 
dow, just large enough to let a man through. He turned it 
gently on its hinges. 

"There," he said, "is our road." 

" The deuce 'tis very cold, my dear friend," said Aramis. 

"Stay here, if you like, but I warn you, 'twill be rather 
too warm presently." 

"But we cannot swim to the shore." 

"The long boat is yonder, lashed to the felucca; we can 
take possession of it, and cut the cable. Come, my friends." 

"A moment's delay," said Athos; "our servants?" 

"Here we are," they cried. 

Meantime the three friends were standing motionless before 
the awful sight which D'Artagnan, in raising the shutters, 
had disclosed to them through the narrow opening of the 
window. 

Those who have once beheld such a spectacle know that 
there is nothing more solemn, more striking than the raging 
sea, rolling, with its deafening roar, its dark billows, beneath 
the pale light of a wintry moon. 

"Gracious heaven! ire are hesitating," cried D'Artagnan; 
"if we hesitate, what will the servants do?" 

"I do not hesitate, you know," said Grimaud. 

"Sir," interposed Blaisois, "I warn you that I cannot swim 
except in rivers." 

"And I not at all," said Mousqueton. 

But D'Artagnan had now slipped through the window. 

"You have then decided, my friend?" said Athos. 

"Yes," the Gascon answered; "Athos! you, who are a per 
fect being, bid the spirit to triumph over the body." 

"Do you, Aramis, order the servants Porthos, kill every 
one who stands in your way." 

And, after pressing the hand of Athos, D'Artagnan chose 
a moment when the ship rolled backward, so that he had 
only to plunge into the water up to his waist. 

Athos rollowed him before the felucca rose again on the 
waves; the cable which tied the boat to the vessel was then 
seen plainly rising out of the sea. 

D'Artagnan swam to it, and held it, suspending himself by 
this rope, his head alone out of the water. 



428 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

In one second Athos joined him. 

They then saw, as the felucca turned, two other heads 
peeping those of Aramis and Grimaud. 

"I am uneasy about Blaisois," said Athos; "he can, he 
Bays, only swim in rivers." 

" When people can swim at all they can swim everywhere. 
To the bark ! to the bark !" 

"But Porthos, I do not see him." 

"Porthos is coming he swims like Leviathan." 

Porthos, in fact, did not appear. Mousqueton and Blaisois 
had been appalled by the sight of the black gulf below them, 
and had shrunk back. 

"Come along! I shall strangle you both if you don't get 
out," said Porthos, at last seizing Mousqueton by the throat. 

"Forward! Blaisois." 

A groan, stifled by the grasp of Porthos, was all the reply 
of poor Blaisois, for the giant, taking him neck and heels, 
plunged him into the water head foremost, pushing him out 
by the window as if he had been a plank. 

"Now, Houston," he said, "I hope you don't mean to 
desert your master?" 

"Ah, sir," replied Mousqueton, his eyes filling with tears, 
"why did you re-enter the army? We were so happy in the 
Ch&teau de Pierrefonds!" 

And, without any other complaint, passive and obedient, 
either from true devotion to his master, or from the example 
set by Blaisois, Mousqueton went into the sea head foremost. 
A sublime action, at all events, for Mousqueton looked upon 
himself as dead. But Porthos was not a man to abandon an 
old servant; and when Mousqueton rose above the water, 
blinded, he found that he was supported by the large hand 
of Porthos, and that he could, without having occasion even 
to move, advance toward the cable with the dignity of a sea- 
god. 

In a few minutes, Porthos had rejoined his companions, 
who were already in the canoe; but when, after they had all 
got in, it came to his turn, there was great danger that in 
putting his huge leg over the edge of the boat he would have 
upset the little vessel. Athos was the last to enter. 

"Are you all here?" he asked 

"Ah! have you your sword, Athos?" cried D'Artagnan. 

"Yes." 

"Cut'the cable, then." 

Athos drew a sharp poniard from his belt, and cut the 
oord. The felucca went on; the bark continued stationary, 
only moved by the wave 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 429 

"Come, Athos!" said D'Artagnan, giving his hand to the 
count; "you are going to see something curious," added the 
Gascon. 



CHAPTER LXXI. 

FATALITY. 

SCARCELY had D'Artagnan uttered these words than a 
ringing and sudden noise was heard resounding through the 
felucca, which now became dim in the obscurity of the night. 

"That, you may be sure," said the Gascon, "means some 
thing." 

They then, at the same instant, perceived a large lantern 
carried on a pole appear on the deck, defining the forms of 
shadows behind it. 

Suddenly a terrible cry, a cry of despair, was wafted through 
the space, and, as if the shrieks of anguish had driven away 
the clouds, the veil which hid the moon was cleared away, 
and the gray sails and dark shrouds of the felucca were seen 
beneath the silvery night of the skies. 

Shadows ran, as if bewildered, to and fro, on the vessel, 
and mournful cries accompanied these delirious walkers. In 
the midst of these screams they saw, standing on the top of 
the poop, Mordaunt, with a torch in his hand. 

The figures, apparently excited with terror, were Groslow, 
who, at the hour fixed by Mordaunt, had collected his men 
and the sailors. Groslow, after having listened at the door 
of the cabin to hear if the musketeers were still asleep, had 
gone down into the cellar, convinced by their silence that 
they were all in a deep slumber. Then Mordaunt had opened 
the door, and run to the train impetuous as a man who is 
excited by revenge and full of confidence as are those whom 
God blinds he had set fire to the sulphur! 

All this while, Groslow and his men were assembled on deck. 

"Haul up the cable, and draw the boat to us," said Groslow. 

One of the sailors got down the side of the ship, seized the 
cable, and drew it it came without any resistance. 

"The cable is cut!" he cried, "no canoe!" 

"How! no canoe!" exclaimed Groslow; "'tis impossible." 

"'Tis true, however," answered the sailors; "there's noth 
ing in the wake of the ship, besides, here's the end of the 
cable." 

"What's the matter?" cried Mordaunt, who, coming up 



430 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

out of the hatchway, rushed to the stern, his torch in his 
hand. 

"Only that our enemies have escaped they have cut the 
cord, and gone off with the canoe." 

Mordannt bounded with one step to the cabin and kicked 
open the door. 

" Empty 1" he exclaimed; "the demons!" 

"We must pursue them," said Groslow; "they can't be 
gone far, "and we shall sink them, passing over them," 

"Yes, but the fire," ejaculated Mordaunt; "I have lighted 
it." 

"A thousand devils!" cried Groslow, rushing to the hatch 
way; "perhaps there is still time to save us." 

Mordaunt answered only by a terrible laugh, threw his torch 
into the sea, and then plunged himself into it. The instant 
that Groslow put his foot upon the steps of the hatchway the 
ship opened like the crater of a volcano a burst of flame 
arose toward the skies with an explosion like that of a thou 
sand cannon; the air burned, ignited by embers in flames 
then the frightful lightning disappeared, the embers sank 
down, one after another, into the abyss, where they were ex 
tinguished ; and, except a slight vibration in the air, after a 
few minutes had elapsed, one would have thought that nothing 
had happened. 

Only the felucca had disappeared from the surface of the 
sea and Groslow and his three sailors were consumed. 

The four friends saw all this not a single detail of this 
fearful scene escaped them : at one moment, bathed as they 
were in a flood of brilliant light, which illumined the sea for 
the space of a league, they might each be seen each in his 
own peculiar attitude and manner, expressing the awe, which, 
even in their hearts of bronze, they could not help feeling. 
Soon the torrent of flame fell all around them then, at last 
the volcano was extinguished all was dark the floating bark 
and the heaving ocean. 

They were all silent and dejected. 

"By heaven!" at last said Athos, the first to speak, "by 
this time, I think, a*ll must be over." 

"Here! my lords! save me! help!" cried a voice, whose 
mournful accents reaching the four friends, seemed to proceed 
from some phantom of the ocean. 

All looked around Athos himself started. 

"'Tishe! 'tis his voice !" he said. 

All still remained silent the eyes of all were still turned 
in the direction where the vessel had disappeared endeavor- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 431 

ing in vain to penetrate the darkness. After a minute or 
two they were able to distinguish a man, who approached 
them, swimming vigorously. 

Athos extended his arm toward him "Yes, yes, I know 
him well," he said. 

"He again!" cried Porthos, who was breathing like a 
blacksmith's bellows, "whv, he's made of iron." 

"Oh, my God!" muttered Athos. 

Aramis and D'Artagnan whispered to each other. 

Mordaunt made several strokes more, and raising his arm 
in sign of distress above the waves " Pity, pity on me ! gen 
tlemen in heaven's name I feel my strength failing me; I 
am dying." 

The voice that implored aid was so piteous, that it awak 
ened pity in the heart of Athos. 

"Miserable wretch!" he exclaimed. 

"Indeed!" said D'Artagnan, "people have only to com 
plain to you. I believe he's swimming toward us. Does he 
think we are going to take him in? Row, Porthos, row." 
And setting the example, he plowed his oar into the sea 
two strokes toon the bark on twenty fathoms further. 

"Ah! ah!" said Porthos to Mordaunt, "I think we have 
you here, my hero!" 

"Oh! Porthos!" murmured the Comte de la Fe"re. 

"Oh, pray! for mercy's sake don't fly from me. For pity's 
sake!" cried the young man, whose agonized breathing at 
times, when his head was under the wave, made the icy 
waters bubble. 

D'Artagnan, however, who had consulted with Aramis, 
spoke to the poor wretch. "Go away," he said, "your re 
pentance is too recent to inspire confidence. See! the vessel 
in which you wished to fry us is still smoking; and the situ 
ation in which you are is a bed of roses compared to that in 
which you wished to place us, and in which you have placed 
Monsieur Groslow and his companions." 

"Sir!" replied Mordaunt, in a tone of deep despair, "my 
penitence is sincere. Gentlemen, I am young, scarcely 
twenty-three years old. I was drawn on by a very natural 
resentment to avenge my mother. You would have done 
what I did." 

Mordaunt wanted now only two or three fathoms to reach 
the boat for the approach of death seemed to give him 
supernatural strength. 

"Alas!" he said, "I am then to die! you are going to kill 
the sou, as you killed the mother! Surely, if I am culpable, 
and if I ask for pardon. I oiiffUt An be forgiven." 



432 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

Then as if his strength failed him he seemed unable to 
sustain himself above the water, and a wave passed over his 
head, which drowned his voice. 

"Oh! that agonizes me!" cried Athos. Mordaunt reap 
peared. 

"For my part," said D'Artagnan, "I say, this must come 
to an end : a murderer as you were of your uncle; executioner 
as you were of King Charles! Incendiary! I recommend you 
to sink forthwith to the bottom of the sea; and if you come 
another fathom nearer, I'll break your head with my oar." 

"D'Artagnan! D'Artagnan!" cried Athos, "my son! I en 
treat you: the wretch is dying; and it is horrible to let a 
man die without extending a hand to save him. I cannot 
resist doing so he must live." 

"Zounds!" replied D'Artagnan, "why don't you give your 
self up directly, feet and hands bound, to that wretch? Ah! 
Comte de la F&re, you wish to perish by his hands? I, your 
son, as you call me; I will not!" 

'Twas the first time that D'Artagnan had ever refused a 
request of Athos. 

Aramis calmly drew his sword, which he had carried be 
tween his teeth as he swam. 

" If he lays his hand on the boat's edge, I will cut it off 
regicide as he is." 

"And I," said Porthos. "Wait." 

"What are you going to do?" asked Aramis. 

"To throw myself in the water and strangle him." 

"Oh, gentlemen!" cried Athos; "be men! be Christians! 
See! death is depicted on his face! Ah! do not bring on me 
the horrors of remorse! Grant me this poor wretch's life. 
I will bless you. I " 

"I am dying!" cried Mordaunt, "come to me! come to me!" 

D'Artagnan began to be touched. The boat at this mo 
ment turned round, and the dying man was by that turn 
brought nearer to Athos. 

"Monsieur the Comte de la Fere!" he cried; "I supplicate 
you! pity me! I call on you! where are you? I see you no 
longer I am dying help me! help me!" 

"Here I am, sir!" said Athos, leaning, and stretching out 
his arm to Mordaunt with that air of dignity and nobleness 
of soul habitual to him; "here I am; take my hand, and 
jump into our boat." 

Mordaunt made a last effort rose, seized the hand thus 
extended to him, and grasped it with the vehemence of 
despair. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 433 

"That's right," said Athos, "put your other hand here." 

And he offered him his shoulders as another stay and sup 
port, so that his head almost touched that of Mordaunt; and 
these two mortal enemies were in as close an embrace as if 
they had been brothers. 

"Now, sir," said the count, "you are safe calm yourself!" 

"Ah! my mother!" cried Mordaunt, with an eye of fire 
and a look of hatred impossible to describe, " I can only offer 
thee one victim, but it shall, at any rate, be the one whom 
thou wouldst have chosen !" 

And while D'Artagnan uttered a cry, while Porthos raised 
the oar, and Aramis sought a place to strike, a frightful shake 
given to the boat precipitated Athos into the sea; while Mor 
daunt, with a shout of triumph, grasped the neck of his vic 
tim, and, in order to paralyze his movements, intertwined his 
legs with his as a serpent might have done around some 
object. In an instant, without uttering an exclamation, 
without a cry for help, Athos tried to sustain himself on the 
surface of the waters; but the weight dragged him down: he 
disappeared by degrees; soon nothing was to be seen except 
his long floating hair; then everything disappeared, and the 
bubbling of the water, which, in its turn, was effaced, alone 
indicated the spot wnere these two men had sunk. 

Mute with horror, the three friends had remained open- 
mouthed, their eyes dilated, their arms extended like statues, 
and motionless as they were, the beating of their hearts was 
audible. Porthos was the first who came to himself he tore 
his hair. 

"Oh!" he cried, "Athos! Athos! thou man of noble heart! 
Woe is me! I have let thee perish !" 

At this instant, in the midst of a vast circle, illumined by 
the light of the moon, the same whirlpool which had been 
made by the sinking men was again obvious; and first were 
seen, rising above the waves, locks of hair then a face, pale 
with open eyes, yet nevertheless those of death ; then a body 
which after having raised itself even to the waist above the 
sea, turned gently on its back according to the caprice of the 
waves, and floated. 

In the bosom of this corpse was plunged a poniard, the 
gold hilt of which shone in the moonbeams. 

"Mordaunt! Mordaunt!" cried the three friends; "'tis 
Mordaunt!" 

"But Athos!" exclaimed D'Artagnan. 

Suddenly the boat leaned on one side, beneath a new and 
unexpected weight, and Grimaud uttered a shout of joy; 

19 DUMAS VOL. XIII. 



434 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

every one turned round, and beheld Athos, livid, his eyes 
dim, and his hands trembling, supporting himself on the 
edge of the boat. Eight vigorous arms bore him up imme 
diately, and laid him in the bark, where directly Athos was 
warmed, reanimated, reviving with the caresses and cares of 
his friends, who were intoxicated with joy. 

" You are not hurt?" asked D'Artagnan. 

"No," replied Athos, "and he " 

"Oh, he! Now we may say, thank God! he is really dead. 
Look!" and D'Artagnan, obliging Athos to look in the direc 
tion that he pointed, shewed him the body of Mordaunt 
floating on its back and which, sometimes submerged, some 
times rising, seemed still to pursue the four friends with a 
look full of insult and mortal hatred. 

At last he sank. Athos had followed him with a glance in 
which the deepest melancholy and pity were expressed. 

"Bravo, Athos!" cried Aramis, with an emotion very rare 
in him. 

" A capital blow you gave !" cried Porthos. 

"I have a son," said Athos, "I wished to live." 

"In short," said D'Artagnan, "this has been the win of 
God." 

"It is not I who killed Mm," added Athos, in a soft, low 
tone; "it is destiny." 



CHAPTER LXXII. 

HOW MOUSQUETON, AFTER BEING VERY NEARLY ROASTED, 
HAD A NARROW ESCAPE OF BEING EATEN. 

A DEEP silence reigned for a long time in the canoe after 
the fearful scene just described. 

The moon, which had shone for a short time, disappeared 
behind the clouds: every object was again plunged in that 
obscurity so awful in deserts, and still more so in that liquid 
desert, the ocean, and nothing was heard, save the whistling 
of the west wind driving along the tops of the crested billows. 

Porthos was the first to speak. 

"I have seen," he said, "many things, but nothing that 
ever agitated me so much as what I have just witnessed. 
Nevertheless, even in my present state of perturbation, I pro 
test I feel happy. I have a hundred pounds' weight less 
upon my chest. I breathe more freely." In fact, Porthos 
breathed so loud as to do credit to the powerful play of his 
lungs. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTEE. 435 

"For my part," observed Aramis, "I cannot say the same 
as you do, Porthos. 1 am still terrified to such a degree that 
I scarcely believe my eyes. I look around the cauoe, expect 
ing, every moment, to see that poor wretch holding in his 
hands the poniard which was plunged into his heart." 

"Oh, I am quite easy," replied Porthos. "The sword was 
pointed at the sixth rib, and buried up to the hilt in his 
body. I do not reproach you, Athos, for what you have 
done; quite the contrary; when one aims a blow, that is the 
way to strike. So now, I breathe again, I am happy !" 

" Don't be in haste to celebrate a victory, Porthos," inter 
posed D'Artagnan; "never have we incurred a greater danger 
than we are now encountering. A man may subdue a man 
he can't conquer an element. We are now on the sea, at 
night, without any pilot, in a frail bark; should a blast of 
wind upset the canoe, we are lost." 

Mousqueton heaved a deep sigh. 

"You are ungrateful, D'Artagnan," said Athos; "yes, un 
grateful to Providence to whom we owe our safety in a 
miraculous manner. Let us sail before the wind, and, unless 
it changes, we shall be drifted either to Calais or Boulogne. 
Should our bark be upset, we are five of us good swimmers, 
and able enough to turn it over again ; or, if not, to hold on 
by it. Now we are on the very road which all the vessels 
between Dover and Calais take, 'tis impossible but that we 
should meet with a fisherman who will pick us up." 

"But should we not find any fisherman, and should the 
wind shift to the north?" 

"Then," said Athos, "it would be quite another thing; 
and we should never see land until we were on the other side 
of the Atlantic." 

"Which implies that we may die of hunger," said Aramis. 

"'Tismore than probable," answered the Comte de la Fere. 

Mousqueton sighed again, more deeply than before. 

"What is the matter? what ails you?" asked Porthos. 

"I am cold, sir," said Mousqueton. 

"Impossible! your body is covered with a coating of fa*, 
which preserves it from the cold air." 

"Ah! sir, 'tis that very coating of fat which alarms me." 

"How is that, Mousqueton?" 

"Alas! your honor! in the library of the Chateau of Bra- 
cieux there's a number of books of travels." 

"What then?" 

"Among them the voyages of Jean Mocquet in the time of 
Henry IV." 



436 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Well?" 

"In these books, yonr honor, 'tis told how hungry voy 
agers, drifted out to sea, have a bad habit of eating each 
other, and beginning by " 

"By the fattest among them!" cried D'Artagnan, unable, 
in spite of the gravity of the occasion, to help laughing. 

"Yes, sir," answered Mousqueton; "but permit me to say, 
I see nothing laughable in it. However," he added, turning 
to Porthos, " I should not regret dying, sir, were I sure that 
by doing so I might still be useful to you." 

"Houston," replied Porthos, much affected, "should we 
ever see my castle of Pierrefonds again, you shall have as 
your own, and for your descendants, the vineyard which sur 
rounds the farm." " 

"And you shall call it Houston," added Aramis, "the 
vineyard of self-sacrifice, to transmit to latest ages the recol 
lection of your devotion to your master." 

One may readily conceive that during these jokes, which 
were intended chiefly to divert Athos from the scene which 
had just taken place, the servants, with the exception of 
Grimaud, were not silent. Suddenly Housqueton uttered a 
cry of delight, in taking from beneath one of the benches a 
bottle of wine; and, on looking more closely still in the same 
place, he discovered a dozen of similar bottles, some bread, 
and a piece of salted beef. 

"Oh, sir!" he cried, passing the bottle to Porthos, "we are 
saved the bark is supplied with provisions." 

This intelligence restored every one, save Athos, to gayety. 

"Zounds!" exclaimed Porthos, " 'tis astonishing how empty 
violent agitation makes the stomach." 

And he drank off one bottle at a draught, and ate a good 
third of the bread and salted meat. 

"Now," said Athos, "sleep, or try to sleep, my friends, I 
will watch." 

In a few moments, notwithstanding their wet clothes, the 
icy blast that blew, and the previous scene, these hardy 
adventurers, with their iron frames, fitted for every hardship, 
threw themselves down, intending to profit by the advice of 
Athos, who sat at the helm, pensive and wakeful, guiding 
the little bark in the way it was to go, his eyes fixed on the 
heavens, as if he sought to discern, not only the road to 
France, but the benign aspect of protecting Providence. 
After some hours of repose, the sleepers were aroused by 
Athos. 

jDawn had shed its light upon the blue ocean, and the dis- 



TWENTY YEAES AFTER. 437 

tance of a musket's shot from them was seen a dark mass, 
above which was displayed a triangular sail; then masters and 
servants joined in a fervent cry to the crew of that vessel, to 
hear them, and to save. 

" A bark !" all cried together. 

It was, in fact, a small craft from Dunkirk, which was 
sailing toward Boulogne. 

A quarter of an hour afterward, the boat of this craft took 
them on board the little vessel. Grimaud offered twenty 
guineas to the captain from his master, and, at nine o'clock 
in the morning, having a fair wind, our Frenchmen set foot 
on their native land. 

"Egad! how strong one feels here!" said Porthos, almost 
burying his large feet in the sands. "Zounds! I could now 
defy a whole nation !* 

"Be quiet, Porthos," said D'Artagnan, "we are observed." 

"We are admired, i'faith," answered Porthos. 

"These people who are looking at us are only merchants," 
said Athos, "and are looking more at the cargo than at us." 

"I shall not trust to that," said the lieutenant, "and I shall 
make for the dunes* as soon as possible." 

The party followed him, and soon disappeared with him 
behind the hillocks of sand unobserved. Here, after a short 
conference, they proposed to separate. 

"And why separate?" asked Athos. 

"Because," answered the Gascon, "we were sent by Cardi 
nal Mazarin to fight for Cromwell; instead of fighting for 
jQromwell, we have served Charles I., not the same thing at 
all. In returning with the Comte de la Fere and Monsieur 
d'Herblay, our crime would be confirmed. We have escaped 
Cromwell, Mordaunt, and the sea, but we should not escape 
from Mazarin." 

"You forget," replied Athos, "that we consider ourselves 
as your prisoners, and not free from the engagement we en 
tered into." 

"Truly, Athos," interrupted D'Artagnan, "I am vexed 
that such a man as you are should talk nonsense which 
schoolboys would be ashamed of. Chevalier," he continued, 
addressing Aramis, who, leaning proudly on his sword, 
seemed to agree with his companion, "Chevalier, Porthos 
and I run no risk; besides, should any ill-luck happen to two 
of us, will it not be much better that the other two should 
be spared to assist those who may be apprehended? Besides, 

* Sandy hills about Dunkirk, from which it derives its name. 



438 TWENTY YEAKS AFTER. 

who knows whether, divided, we might not obtain a pardon 
yon from the queen, we from Mazariu which, were we all 
four together, would never be granted. Come, Athos and 
Aramis, go to the right; Porthos, come with me to the left; 
these gentlemen should file off toward Normandy, we will, 
by the nearest road, reach Paris." 

He then gave his friends minute directions as to their route. 

"Ah! my dear friend," cried Athos, "how I should admire 
the resources of your mind, did I not stop to adore those of 
your heart." 

And he gave him his hand. 

"Is the fox a genius, Athos?" asked the Gascon. "No! 
he knows how to crunch fowls, to dodge the huntsman, and 
to find his way home by day or by night, that's all. Well, 
is all said?" 

"All." 

" Then let's count our money, and divide it. Ah ! hurrah ! 
there's the sun! Good morrow, my friend, the sun! 'tis a 
long time since I saw you !" 

"Come, come, D'Artagnan," said Athos, "do not affect to 
be strong-minded: there are tears in your eyes; let us always 
be open to each other, and sincere." 

"What!" cried the Gascon, "do you think, Athos, we can 
take leave, calmly, of two friends, at a time not free from 
danger to you and Aramis." 

"No," answered Athos; "embrace me, my son." 

"Zounds!" said Porthos, sobbing, "I believe I'm crying; 
but how foolish it is!" 

They then embraced. At that moment their fraternal 
bond of union was closer than ever, and, when they parted, 
each to take the route agreed on, they turned back," to utter 
to each other affectionate expressions, which the echoes of 
the dunes repeated. At last they lost sight of each other; 
Porthos and D'Artagnan taking the road to Paris, followed 
by Mousqueton, who, after having been too cold all night, 
found himself, at the end of half an hour, far too warm. 



CHAPTER LXXIII. 

THE RETURN. 

DURING the six months that Athos and Aramis had been 
absent from France, the Parisians, finding themselves, one 
morning, without either a queen or a king, were greatly an 
noyed at being thus deserted, and the absence of Mazarin, so 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 439 

much desired, did not compensate for that of the two august 
fugitives. 

The first feeling which pervaded Paris on hearing of the 
flight to Saint Germain, was that sort of affright which seizes 
children when they awake in the night, and find themselves 
alone. A deputation was therefore sent to the queen, to en 
treat her to return soon to Paris; but she not only declined 
to receive the deputies, but sent an intimation by Chancellor 
Sequier, implying that if the parliament did not humble itself 
before her majesty, by negativing all the questions that 
had been the cause of the quarrel, Paris would be besieged 
the next day. 

This threatening answer, unluckily for the court, produced 
quite a different effect to that which was intended. It 
wounded the pride of the parliament, which, supported by 
the citizens, replied by declaring that Cardinal Mazarin was 
the cause of all the discontents; denounced him as the enemy 
both to the king and the State; and ordered him to retire 
from the court that very day, and from France within a week 
afterward; and enjoining, in case of disobedience on his part, 
all the subjects of the king to pursue and take him. 

Mazarin being thus put out of the protection of the law, 
preparations on both sides were commenced: the queen, to 
attack Paris the citizens, to defend it. The latter were oc 
cupied in breaking up the pavement, and stretching chains 
across the street, when, headed by the coadjutor, appeared 
the Prince de Conti (the brother of the Prince de Coude) and 
the Due de Longueyille, his brother-in-law. This unex 
pected band of auxiliaries arrived in Paris on the tenth of 
January; and the Prince of Conti was named, but not until 
after a stormy discussion, generalissimo of the army of the 
king, out of Paris. 

As for the Duo de Beaufort, he arrived from Vendome, 
according to the annals of the day, bringing with him his 
high bearing, and his long and beautiful hair, qualifications 
which ensured him the sovereignty of the market-places and 
their occupants. 

It was just at this epooh that the four friends had landed 
at Dunkirk, and begun their route toward Paris. On reach 
ing that capital, Athos and Aramis found it in arms. The 
sentinel at the gate refused even to let them pass, and called 
his sergeant. 

The sergeant, with that air of importance which such peo 
ple assume when they are clad with military dignity, said: 

"Who are you, gentlemen?" 



440 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

"Two gentlemen." 

"And where do you come from?" 

"From London." 

"And what are yon going to do in Paris?" 

" We are going with a mission to her majesty the Queen of 
England." 

" Where are your orders?" 

"We have none: we left England, ignorant of the state of 
politics here, having left Paris before the departure of the 
king." 

"Ah!" said the sergeant, with a cunning smile, "you are 
Mazarinists, who are sent as spies." 

"My dear friend," here Athos spoke, "be assured, if we 
were Mazarinists, we should have all sorts of passports. In 
your situation, distrust those who are well provided with 
every formality." 

" Enter into the guard-room," said the sergeant; "we will 
lay your case before the commandant of the post." 

The guard-room was filled with citizens and common peo 
ple, some playing, some drinking, some talking. In a corner, 
almost hidden from view, were three gentlemen, who had 
preceded Athos and Aramis, and an officer was examining 
their passports. The first impulse of these three gentlemen, 
and of those who last entered, was to cast an inquiring glance 
to each other. Those first arrived wore long cloaks, in the 
drapery of which they were carefully enveloped ; one of them, 
shorter than the rest, remained pertinaciously in the back 
ground. 

When the sergeant, on entering the room, announced that, 
in all probability, he was bringing in two Mazarinists, it ap 
peared to be the unanimous opinion of the officers on guard 
that they ought not to pass. 

" Be it so," said Athos; "yet it is probable, on the contrary, 
that we shall enter, because we seem to have to do with sen 
sible people. There seems to be only one thing to do, which 
is, to send our names to her majesty the Queen of England, 
and, if she engages to answer for us, I presume we shall be 
allowed to enter." 

On hearing these words, the shortest of the other three 
men seemed more attentive than ever to what was going on, 
and he wrapped his cloak around him more carefully than 
before. 

"Merciful goodness!" whispered Aramis to Athos, "did you 
see?" 

"What?" asked Athos. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 441 

"The face of the shortest of those three gentlemen?" 

"No." 

"He seemed to me but 'tis impossible." 

At this instant the sergeant, who had been for his orders, 
returned, and, pointing to the three gentlemen in cloaks, 
said: 

"The passports are right; let these three gentlemen pass." 

The three gentlemen bowed, and hastened to take advan 
tage of this permission. 

Aramis looked after them, and, as the least of them passed 
close to him, he pressed the hand of Athos. 

" What is the matter with you, my friend?" asked the latter. 

"I have doubtless I am dreaming: tell me, sir," he said 
to the sergeant, "do yon know those three gentlemen who 
are just gone out?" 

"Only by their passports: they are three Frondists, who 
are gone to rejoin the Due de Longueville." 

"'Tis strange," said Aramis, almost involuntarily; "I fan 
cied that I recognized Mazarin himself." 

The sergeant burst out into a fit of laughter. 

" He !" he cried ; " he venture himself among us to be hung ! 
Not so foolish as all that." 

"Ah!" muttered Athos, "I may be mistaken; I haven't 
the unerring eye of D'Artagnan." 

"Who is speaking of D'Artagnan?" asked an officer, who 
appeared at that moment upon the threshold of the room. 

"What!" cried Aramis and Athos, "what! Planchet!" 

"Planchet," added Grimaud, "Planchet, with a gorget, 
indeed !" 

"Ah, gentlemen!" cried Planchet, "so you are back again 
in Paris. Oh, how happy you make us! no doubt you are 
come to join the princes!" 

"As ihou seest, Planchet," said Aramis, while Athos smiled 
at the importance now assumed by the old comrade of Mous- 
queton in his new rank in the city militia. 

"Ah! so!" said Aramis; "allow me to congratulate you, 
Monsieur Planchet." 

"Ah, the chevalier !" returned Planchet, bowing. 

"Lieutenant?" asked Aramis. 

"Lieutenant, with a promise of becoming a captain." 

"'Tis capital: and pray how did you acquire all these 
honors?" 

" In the first place, gentlemen, you know that I was the 
means of Monsieur de Rochefort's escape; well, I was very 
near being hung by Mazarin, and that made me more popular 
than ever." 



442 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

" So, owing to your popularity " 

"No: thanks to something better. You know, gentlemen, 
that I served in Piedmont's regiment, and had the honor of 
being a sergeant?" 

U Vpq 
i CO. 

"Well, one day when no one could drill a mob of citizens, 
who began to march, some with the right foot, others with 
the left, I succeeded, I did, in making them all begin with 
the same foot, and I was made a lieutenant on the field." 

"So, I presume," said Athos, "that you have a large num 
ber of the nobles with you?" 

"Certainly. There are the Prince de Conti, the Due de 
Longueville, the Due de Beaufort, the Due de Bouillon, the 
Mare'chal de la Mothe, the Marquis de Sevigne, and I don't 
know who, for my part." 

"And the Vicomte Raoul de Bragelonne?" inquired Athos, 
in a tremulous voice; "D'Artagnan told me that he had rec 
ommended him to your care, in parting." 

"Yes, count; nor have I lost sight of him for an instant 
since." 

"Then," said Athos, in a tone of delight, "he is well? no 
accident has happened to him?" 

"None, sir." 

"And he lives?" 

"Still at the hotel of the Great Charlemagne." 

"And he passes his time?" 

" Sometimes with the Queen of England sometimes with 
Madame de Chevreuse. He and the Count de Guiche are 
never asunder." 

"Thanks Planchet thanks," cried Athos, extending his 
hand to the lieutenant. 

"Oh, sir!" Planchet only touched the tips of the count's 
fingers. "Oh, sir! and now, gentlemen, what do you intend 
to do?" 

"To re-enter Paris, if you will let us, my good Planchet." 

"Let you, sir? I am nothing but your servant!" Then, 
turning to his men: 

" Allow these gentlemen to pass," he said ; " they are friends 
of the Due de Beaufort." 

"Long live the Due de Beaufort!" cried all the sentinels. 

"Farewell till we meet again," said Aramis, as they took 
leave of Planchet; "if anything happens to us, we shall blame 
you for it." 

"Sir," answered Planchet, "I am in all things yours to 
command." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 443 

"That fellow is no fool," said Aramis, as he got on his 
horse. 

"How should he be?" replied Athos, while mounting also, 
"seeing that he has been so long used to brush his master's 
hats?" 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

THE AMBASSADORS. 

THE two friends rode rapidly down the declivity of the 
Faubourg, but on arriving at the bottom were surprised to 
find that the streets of Paris had become rivers, and the open 
places lakes; after the great rains which fell in the month of 
January, the Seine had overflowed its banks, and the river 
had inundated half the capital. The two gentlemen were 
obliged, therefore, to get off their horses and take a boat, and 
in that manner they approached the Louvre. 

Night had closed in, and Paris, seen thus, by the light of 
some lanterns, flickering on the pools of water, with boats 
laden with patrols with glittering arms, the watchword pass 
ing from post to post, Paris presented such an aspect as to 
seize strongly on the senses of Aramis a man most suscepti 
ble of warlike impressions. 

They reached the queen's apartments, and were instantly 
admitted to the presence of Henrietta Maria, who uttered a 
cry of joy on hearing of their arrival. 

"Let them come in! let them come in!" exclaimed the 
poor queen. 

"Let them come in!" reiterated the young princess, who 
had never left her mother's side, but essayed in vain to make 
her forget, by her filial affection, the absence of her two sons 
and her other daughter. 

"Come in, gentlemen," repeated the princess, opening the 
door herself. 

The queen was seated on zfauteuil, and before her were 
standing two or three gentlemen, and, among them, the Due 
de Chatillon, the brother of the nobleman who was killed 
eight or nine years previously in a duel, on account of Ma 
dame de Longueville, on the Place Royale. All these gentle 
men had been noticed by Athos and Aramis in the guard 
house; and, when the two friends were announced, they 
started, and exchanged some words in a low tone. 

" Well, sirs!" cried the queen, on perceiving the two friends; 
"vou are come, faithful friends! but the royal couriers have 



444 TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 

been more expeditions than yon; and here are Monsieur de 
Flamareus and Monsieur de Chatillon, who bring me, from 
her majesty the Queen Anne, of Austria, the most recent 
intelligence." 

Aramis and Athos were astonished by the calmness, even 
the gayety, of the queen's manner. 

" Go on with your recital, sirs," said the queen, turning to 
the Duo de Chatillon. "You said that his majesty King 
Charles, my august consort, had been condemned to death by 
a majority of his subjects!" 

" Yes, madame," Chatillon stammered out. 

Athos and Aramis seemed more and more astonished. 

"And that, being conducted to the scaffold," resumed the 
queen, " oh, my God! oh, my king! and that, being led to 
the scaffold, he had been saved by an indignant people?" 

"Just so, madame," replied Chatillon, in so low a voice 
that, though the two friends were listening eagerly, they 
could hardly hear this affirmation. 

The queen clapped her hands in enthusiastic gratitude, 
while her daughter threw her arms round her mother's neck, 
and kissed her, her own eyes streaming with tears. 

"Now, madame, nothing remains to me except to proffer 
my respectful homage," said Chatillon, who felt confused and 
ashamed beneath the stern gaze of Athos. 

"One moment, yes," answered the queen. "One moment, 
I beg, for here are the Chevalier d'Herblay and the Comte de 
la F6re just arrived from London and they can give you, 
as eyewitnesses, such details as you can convey to the queen, 
my royal sister. Speak, gentlemen, speak I am listening 
conceal nothing gloss over nothing. Since his majesty still 
lives since the honor of the throne is in safety, everything 
else is a matter of indifference to me." 

Athos turned pale, and laid his hand on his heart. 

"Well!" exclaimed the queen, who remarked this move 
ment and this paleness. "Speak, sir! I beg you to do so." 

"I beg you to excuse me, madame I wish to add nothing 
to the recital of these gentlemen until they perceive them 
selves that they have, perhaps, been mistaken." 

"Mistaken!" cried the queen, almost suffocated by emo 
tion ; " mistaken ! What has happened, then !" 

"Sir," interposed Monsieur de Flamarens to Athos, "if we 
are mistaken, the error has originated with the queen. I do 
not suppose you will have the presumption to set it to rights 
that would be to accuse her majesty, Queen Anne, of false 
hood." 



TWENTY TEARS AFTER. 445 

Athos sighed deeply. 

" Or rather, sir," said Aramis, with his irritating politeness. 
w the error of that person who was with yon when we met you 
in the guard-room, for if the Comte de la Fe"re and I are not 
mistaken, when we saw you there you had with you a third 
gentleman." 

Chatillon and Flamareus started. 

"Explain yourself, count!" cried the queen, whose anguish 
became greater every moment. " On your brow I read despair 
your lips falter, ere you announce some terrible tidings 
your hands tremble. Oh, my God! my God! what has hap 
pened !" 

" Lord !" ejaculated the young princess, falling on her knees, 
"have mercy on us." 

A short altercation ensued in a low tone between the Due 
de Chatillon and Aramis, during which Athos, his hands on 
his heart, his head bent low, approached the queen, and in a 
voice of deep sorrow, said : 

" Madame ! princes who by nature are above other men 
receive from heaven courage to support greater misfortunes 
than those of lower rank, for their hearts are elevated as their 
fortunes. We ought not, therefore, I think, to act toward a 
queen so illustrious as your majesty, as we should do toward 
a woman of our lowlier condition. Queen destined as you 
are to endure every sorrow on this earth, hear the result of 
our mission." 

Athos, kneeling down before the queen, trembling and very 
cold, drew from his bosom, inclosed in the same case, the 
order set in diamonds, which the queen had given to Lord de 
Winter and the wedding-ring which Charles I. before his 
death had placed in the hands of Aramis. Since the moment 
that he had first received these two things, Athos had never 
parted with them. 

He opened the case, and offered them to the queen, with 
silent and deep anguish. 

The queen stretched put her hand seized the ring pressed 
it convulsively to her lips and without being able to breathe 
a sigh, to give vent to a sob, she extended her arms, became 
deadly pale, and fell senseless in the arms of her attendants 
and her daughter. 

.Athos kissed the hem of the robe of the widowed queen, 
and rising, with a dignity that made a deep impression on 
those around : 

" I, the Comte de la Fre, a gentleman who has never de 
ceived any human being, swear before God, and before this 



446 TWENTY YEARS AFTEB. 

unhappy queen, that all that was possible to save the king of 
England was done while we were on English ground. Now, 
chevalier," he added, turning to Aramis, "let us go. Our 
duty is fulfilled." 

"Not yet," said Aramis. "We have still a word to say to 
these gentlemen." 

And turning to Chatillon, he said "Sir, be so good as not 
to go away without hearing something that I cannot say before 
the queen." 

Chatillon bowed in token of assent and they all went out, 
stopping at the window of a gallery on the ground floor. 

"Sir!" said Aramis, "you allowed yourself just now to 
treat us in a most extraordinary manner." 

"Sir!" cried De Chatillon. 

"What have you done with Monsieur de Bruy? Has he, 
perchance, gone to change his face, which was too like that 
of Monsieur de Mazarin? There are abundance of Italian 
masks at the Palais Royal: from harlequin even to pantaloon." 

"Chevalier! chevalier!" said Athos. 

"Leave me alone," replied Aramis impatiently. "I don't 
like things that stop half way." 

"Finish then, sir," answered De Chatillon, with as much 
hauteur as Aramis. 

" Gentlemen," resumed Aramis, "any one but the Comte 
de la Fe"re and myself would have had yon arrested for we 
have friends in Paris but we are contented with another 
course. Come and talk with us for five minutes sword in 
hand upon this deserted terrace." 

"Willingly," replied De Chatillon. 

"Duke," said Flamareus, "you forget that to-morrow you 
are to command an expedition of the greatest importance, 
projected by the prince, assented to by the queen. Until to 
morrow evening you are not at your own disposal." 

" Let it be, then, the day after to-morrow," said Aramis. 

"To-morrow, rather," said De Chatillon, "and if you will 
take the trouble of coming so far as the gates of Charenton." 

"Well, then, to-morrow. Pray, are you going to rejoin 
your cardinal? Swear first, on your honor, not to inform 
him of our return." 

De Chatillon looked at him. There was so much of irony 
in his speech, that the duke had great difficulty in bridling 
his anger; but, at a word from Flamareus, he restrained him 
self, and contented himself with saying: 

" You promise me, sir that's agreed that I shall find you 
to-morrow at Charenton?" 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 44? 

"Oh, sir, don't be afraid!" replied Aramis; and the two 
gentlemen shortly afterward left the Louvre. 

"For what reason is all this fume and fury?" asked Athos. 
"What have they done to you?" 

"They did did you not see them?" 

"No." 

" They laughed when we swore that we had done our duty 
in England. Now, if they believed us, they laughed in order 
to insult us; if they did not believe it, they insulted us still 
more. However, I'm glad not to fight them until to-morrow. 
I hope to have something better to do to-night than to draw 
my sword." 

" What have you to do?" 

"Egad! to take Mazarin." 

Athos curled his lip with disdain. 

" These undertakings do not suit me, as you know, Aramis." 

"Why?" 

"Because they are taking people unawares." 

"Eeally, Athos, you would make a singular general. You 
would fight only by broad daylight. Warn your foe before 
an attack; and never attempt anything by night, lest you 
should be accused of taking advantage of the darkness." 

Athos smiled. 

"Say, at once, you disapprove of my proposal." 

"I think you ought to do nothing, since you exacted a 
promise from these gentlemen not to let Mazarin know that 
we were in France." 

"I have entered into no engagement, and consider myself 
quite free. Come, come." 

"Where?" 

"Either to seek the Dnc de Beaufort, or the Due de Bouil 
lon, and to tell them about this." 

" Yes, but on one condition that we begin by the coad 
jutor. He is a priest, learned in cases of conscience, and we 
will tell him ours." 

It was then agreed that they were to go first to Monsieur 
de Bouillon, as his house came first; but first of all Athos 
begged that he might go to the Hotel du Grand Charlemagne, 
to see Raoul. 

They re-entered the boat which had brought them to the 
Louvre, and went thence to the Halles; and finding there 
Grimaud and Blaisois, thej proceeded to the Eue Guen6gaud. 

But Kaoul was not at the Hotel du Grand Charlemagne. 
He had received a message from the prince, to whom he had 
hastened with Olivain the instant he had received it. 



448 TWENTY YEAR3 AFTER. 

CHAPTER LXXV. 

THE THREE LIEUTENANTS OF THE GENERALISSIMO. 

THE night was dark; and the town still resounded with all 
those noises which disclose a city in a state of siege. Athos 
and Aramis did not proceed a hundred steps without being 
stopped by sentinels placed before the barricades, who asked 
them the word ; and on their saying that they were going to 
Monsieur de Bouillon on a mission of importance, a guide was 
given them under pretext of conducting them, but, in fact, 
as a watch over their movements. 

On arriving at the Hotel de Bouillon, they came across a 
little troop of three cavaliers, who seemed to know every pos 
sible watchword; for they walked without either guide or 
escort, and on arriving at the barricades had nothing to do 
but to speak to those who guarded them, and who let them 
pass with all the deference due probably to their birth. 

On seeing them, Athos and Aramis stood still. 

"Oh!" cried Aramis, "do you see, count?" 

"Yes," said Athos. 

"Who do these three cavaliers appear to you to be? These 
are our men." 

" You are not mistaken ; I recognize Monsieur de Flama- 
reus." 

"And Monsieur de Chatillon." 

" As to the cavalier in the brown cloak " 

"It is the cardinal." 

"How the devil do they venture so near the Hotel do 
Bouillon?" 

Athos smiled, but did not reply. Five minutes afterward 
they knocked at the prince's door. 

This door was guarded by a sentinel, and there was also a 
guard placed in the courtyard, ready to obey the orders of the 
lieutenant of the Prince de Conti. 

Monsieur de Bouillon had the gout, and was in bed ; but 
notwithstanding his illness, which had prevented his mount 
ing on horseback for the last month that is, since Paris had 
been besieged he was ready to receive the Comte de la Fere 
and the Chevalier d'Herblay. 

He was in bed, but surrounded with all the paraphernalia 
of war. Everywhere were swords, pistols, cuirasses, and ar 
quebuses, and it was plain that as soon as his gout was cured 
Monsieur de Bouillon would give a pretty skein of silk to the 
enemies of the parliament to unravel. Meanwhile, to his 
great regret, as he said, he was obliged to keep his bed. 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 449 

"Ah! gentlemen," he cried, as the two friends entered, 
"you are very happy! you can ride. Come, go fight for the 
cause of the people. But I, as you see, am nailed to my bed 
ah! this demon, the goat this demon, the gout!" 

"My lord," said Athos, "we are just arrived from England, 
and our first concern is to inquire after your health." 

"Thanks, gentlemen! thanks! As you see, my health is 
bad, but you come from England. And King Charles i& 
well, as I have just heard?" 

"He is dead! my lord," said Aramis. 

"Pooh!" said the duke, astonished. 

"Dead on the scaffold; condemned by the parliament." 

"Impossible!" 

"And executed in our presence." 

" What then has Monsieur de Flamareus been saying to me?" 

"Monsieur de Flamareus?" 

"Yes, he has just gone out. Deuce take it! this gout!" 
said the duke. 

"My lord," said Athos, "we admire your devotion to the 
cause you have espoused, in remaining at the head of the 
army while so ill, in so much pain." 

"One must," replied Monsieur de Bouillon, "sacrifice one's 
self to the public good; but, I confess to you, I am now 
almost exhausted. My spirit is willing, my head is clear, 
but this demon, the gout, galls me! I confess, if the court 
would do justice to my claims, and give to the head of my 
house the title of prince, and if my brother De Turenne were 
reinstated in his command, I would return to my estates and 
-leave the court and the parliament to settle things between 
themselves as they could." 

"You are perfectly right, my lord." 

"Yon think so? At this very moment the court is making 
overtures tome: hitherto I repulsed them; but since such 
men as you assure me that I am wrong in doing so, I've a 
good mind to follow your advice, and to accept a proposition 
made to me by the Due de Chatillou, just now." 

"Accept it, my lord, accept it," said Aramis. 

He and Athos then took their departure. 

"And what think you of the Due de Bouillon?" asked 
Aramis of his friend. 

"I think," answered Athos, "that we have acted wisely in 
not breathing a syllable of the reason for our visit; and now 
let us proceed forthwith to the Hotel de Venddme." It was 
ten o'clock when they reached it, and they found it as closely 
guarded as that of the Due de Bouillon. As they entered 



450 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

the courtyard, two cavaliers were coming out, and Athos and 
Aramis recognized the Due de Chatillon and Monsieur de 
Flamareus, who had evidently been paying their repeats to 
the Dnc de Beaufort. 

Scarcely had the two friends dismounted when a man ap 
proached them, and after looking at them for an instant by 
the doubtful light of the lantern, hung in the center of the 
courtyard, he uttered au exclamation of joy, and ran to em 
brace them. 

"Rochefort!" cried the two friends. 

"Yes! We arrived four or five days ago from the Ven- 
d6mois, as you know, and we are going to give Mazarin some 
thing to do. You are still with us, I presume?" 

"More than ever. And the duke?" 

"Furious against the cardinal. You know his success 
our dear duke? He's really the king of Paris; he can't go 
out without being almost stifled." 

"Ah! so much the better! Can we have the honor of see 
ing his highness?" 

"I shall be proud to present you;" and Rochefort walked 
on; every door was opened to him. Monsieur de Beaufort 
was at supper, but he rose quickly on hearing the two friends 
announced. 

"Ah!" he cried, "by Jove! you're welcome, sirs. You 
are coming to sup with me, are you not? Boisgoli, tell Noir- 
mont that I have two guests. You know Noirmont, do you 
not? The successor of Father Marteau, who makes the ex 
cellent pies you know about. Boisgoli, let him send one of 
his best, but not such an one as he made for La Ramee. 
Thank God! we don't want either ropes, ladders, or pears of 
anguish." 

"My lord," said Athos, "do not let us disturb you. We 
came merely to inquire after your health and to take yonr 
orders." 

"As to my health, since it has stood five years of prison, 
with Monsieur de Chevigny to boot, 'tis excellent ! As to my 
orders, since every one gives his own commands in our party, 
I shall end, if this goes on, in giving none at all." 

"In short, my lord," said Athos, glancing at Aramis, "your 
highness is discontented with your party?" 

"Discontented, sir; say that my highness is furious! To 
such a degree, I assure you, though I would not say so to others, 
that if the queen, acknowledging the injuries she has done 
me, would recall my mother, and give me the reversion of 
the admiralty, which belonged to my father, and was prom- 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 451 

ised to me at his death well ! I should not be long before I 
could train dogs to say, 'that there were greater traitors in 
France than the Cardinal Mazarin.'" 

At this Athos and Aramis could not help exchanging not 
only a look but a smile; and, had they not known it for a 
fact, they could have been sure that De Chatillon and De 
Flamareus had been there before them. 

"My lord!" said Athos, "we are satisfied; we came here 
only to express our loyalty, and to say that we are at your 
lordship's service, and his most faithful servants," and, bow 
ing low, they went out. 

"My dear Athos," cried Aramis; "I think you consented 
to accompany me only to give me a lesson God forgive me!" 

"Wait a little, Aramis; it will be time for tis to perceive 
my motive when we have paid our visit to the coadjutor." 

"Let us, then, go to the archiepiscopal palace," said 
Aramis. 

They directed their horses to the city. On arriving at the 
cradle from which Paris sprang, they found it inundated with 
water; and it was again necessary to take a boat. The palace 
rose from the bosom of the water, and, to see the number of 
boats around it, one would have fancied one's self not in 
Paris, but in Venice. Some of these boats were dark and 
mysterious, others noisy, and lighted np with torches. The 
friends glided in between this confusion of embarkations, and 
landed in their turn. All the palace was under water, but a 
kind of staircase had been fixed to the lower walls; and the 
only difference was that, instead of entering by the doors, 
people entered by the windows. 

Thus did Athos and Aramis make their appearance in the 
antechamber, where about a dozen noblemen were collected 
and waiting. 

"Good heavens!" sai'd Aramis to Athos; "does the coadju 
tor intend to indulge himself in the pleasure of making us 
wait in his antechamber?" 

"My dear friend, we must take people as we find them. 
The coadjutor is at this moment one of the seven kings of 
Paris, and has a court. Let us send in our names, and if he 
does not send us a suitable message, we will leave him to his 
own affairs, or to those of France. Let us call one of these 
lackeys, with a demi-pistole in one hand. Exactly so ah! if 
I'm not mistaken, here's Bazin. Come here, fellow 1" 

Bazin, who was crossing the antechamber majestically in 
his clerical dress, turned round to see who the impertinent 
gentleman was who thus addressed him; but seeing the 



452 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

friends, he went up to them quickly, and expressed great 
delight on seeing them. 

"A truce to compliments," said Aramis; "we want to see 
the coadjutor, and instantly, as we are in haste." 

" Certainly, sir, it is not such lords as you are who are 
allowed to wait in the antechamber, only just now he has a 
secret conference with Monsieur de Bruy." 

"De Bruy!" cried the friends; " 'tis then useless our seeing 
Monsieur the Coadjutor this evening," said Aramis, "so we 
give it up." 

And they hastened to quit the palace, followed by Bazin, 
who was lavish of his bows and compliments. 

At ten o'clock the next day the friends met again. 

There were still no tidings of D'Artaguan or Porthos, 
whom they had expected. Baoul was gone to Saint Cloud, 
in consequence of a message from the Prince de Conde, and 
had not returned; and Aramis had not been able to see Ma 
dame de Longneville, who was installed it the Hotel de Ville, 
where she played the part of queen, not naving quite courage 
enough, as Aramis remarked, to take up her abode at the 
Palais Royal or the Tuileries. 

"Well, then," said Athos, "now then, what shall we do 
this evening?" 

"You forget, my friend, that we have work cut out for us 
in the direction of Charenton; 1 hope to see Monsieur de 
Chatillon, whom I've hated a long time, there." 

"Why have you hated him?" 

"Because he is the brother of Coligny." 

"Ah, true! he who presumed to be a rival of yours, for 
which he was severely punished that ought to satisfy you." 

"Yes, but it does not; I am rancorous, the only point 
which shows me to be a churchman. Do you understand? 
Let us go, then, Aramis." 

"If we go, there is no time to lose; the drum has beat; I 
saw cannon on the road ; I saw the citizens in order of battle 
on the Place of the Hotel de Ville; certainly the fight will be 
in the direction of Charenton, as the Due de Chatillon said." 

"Poor creatures!" said Athos, "who are going to be killed, 
in order that Monsieur de Bouillon should have his estate at 
Sedan restored to him, that the reversion of the admiralty 
should be given to the Due de Beaufort, and that the coad 
jutor should be made a cardinal." 

" Come ! come, dear Athos, you will not be so philosophical 
if your Eaoul should happen to be in all this confusion." 

"Perhaps you speak the truth, Aramis." 



TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 453 

"Well, let us go, then, where the fighting is, for that is 
the most likely place to meet with D'Artagnan, Porthos, and 
Raoul. Stop, there are a fine body of citizens passing; quite 
attractive, by Jupiter! and their captain! see! in the true 
military style." 

"What ho!" said Grimaud. 

"What?" asked Athos. 

"Planchet, sir." 

"Lieutenant yesterday," said Aramis, "a captain to-day, a 
colonel, doubtless, to-morrow: in a week the fellow will be a 
field-marshal of France." 

"Ask him some questions about the fight," said Athos. 

Planchet, prouder than ever of his new duties, deigned to 
explain to the two gentlemen that he was ordered to take up 
his position on the Place Royale, where two hundred men 
formed the rear of the army of Paris, and to march toward 
Charenton, when necessary. 

"The day will be warm," said Planchet, in a warlike tone. 

But the friends, not caring to mix themselves up with the 
citizens, set off toward Charenton, and passed the valley of 
Fecamp, darkened by the presence of armed troops. 



CHAPTER LXXVI. 

THE BATTLE OF CHARENTON. 

As Athos and Aramis proceeded, and passed different com 
panies on the road, they became aware that they were arriving 
near the field of battle. 

"Ah! my friend," cried Athos suddenly, "where have you 
brought us? I fancy I perceive around us faces of different 
officers in the royal army: is it not the Due de Chatillon 
himself who is coming toward us with his brigadiers?" 

"Good-day, sirs," said the duke advancing; "you are puz 
zled by what you see here, but one word will explain every 
thing. There is now a truce, and a conference. The prince, 
Monsieur de Retz, the Due de Beaufort, the Due de Bouillon 
are talking over public affairs. Now, one of two things must 
happen; either matters will be arranged, or they will not be 
arranged, in which last case I shall be relieved of my com 
mand, and we shall still meet again." 

"This conference has not then been preconcerted?" 

"No; 'tis the result of certain propositions made yesterday 
by Cardinal Mazarin to the Parisians." 



454 TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 

"Where, then, are the plenipotentiaries?" asked Athos. 

"At the honse of Monsieur de Chauleu, who commands 
your troops at Charenton. I say your troops, for I presume 
that you gentlemen are Frondeurs?" 

"Yes almost," said Aramis. 

"We are for the king and the princes," added Athos. 

"We must understand each other," said the duke; "the 
king is with us, and his generals are, the Duke of Orleans 
and the Prince de Conti, although, I must add, 'tis almost 
impossible now to know what party one is on." 

"Yes," answered Athos, "but his right place is in our 
ranks, wiljh the Prince de Conti, De Beaufort, D'Elbeuf, and 
De Bouillon; but, my lord, supposing that the conferences 
are broken off, are you going to try to take Charenton?" 

"Such are my orders." 

*My lord, since you command the cavalry " 

"Pardon me, I am comraander-in-chief." 

"So much the better. There is a youth of fifteen years 
of age, the Vicomte de Bragelonne, attached to the Prince de 
Conti: has he the honor of being known to you?" inquired 
Athos, diffident in allowing the skeptical Aramis to perceive 
how strong were his paternal feelings. 

"Yes, surely, he came with the prince; a charming young 
man; he is one of your friends, then, Monsieur le Comte?" 

"Yes, sir," answered Athos, slightly agitated; "so much 
so, that I wish to see him, if possible." 

"Quite possible, sir; do me the favor to accompany me, 
and I will conduct you to headquarters." 

"Halloo, there!" cried Aramis, turning round, "what a 
noise behind ns." 

"A stout cavalier coming toward us," said Chatillon; "I 
recognize the coadjutor, by his Frondist hat." 

"And I, the Due de Beaufort, by his plume of white 
feathers." 

"They are coming full gallop; the prince is with them: 
ah! he is leaving them." 

"They are beating the rappel!" cried Chatillon; "we must 
find out what's going on." 

In fact, they saw the soldiers running to their arms; the 
trumpets sounded; the drum beat; the Due de Beaufort 
drew his sword. On his side, the prince sounded a rappel, 
and all the officers of the royalist army, mingled momentarily 
with the Parisian troops, ran to him. 

"Gentlemen," cried Chatillon, "the truce is broken, that's 
evident; they are going to fight; go, then, into Charenton, 



TWENTTf YEARS AFTER. 455 

for I shall begin in a short time hark! there's a signal from 
the prince !" 

The cornet of the troop had, in fact, just raised the stand 
ard of the prince. "Farewell, till the next time!" cried 
Chatillon, and he set off, full gallop. 

Aramis and Athos turned also and went to salute the coad 
jutor and the Due de Beaufort. As to the Due de Bouillon, 
he had such a fit of gout as obliged him to return to Paris in 
a litter; but his. place was supplied by the Due d'Elbeuf and 
his four sons, ranged around him like a staff. Meantime, 
between Charenton and the royal army was left a long space, 
which seemed prepared to serve as a last resting-place for the 
dead. 

"Gentlemen," cried the coadjutor, tightening his sash, 
which he wore after the fashion of the ancient military pre 
lates, over his archiepiscopal simar, " there's the enemy ap 
proaching us; we shall, I hope, "save them the half of their 
journey." 

And, without caring whether he were followed or not, he 
set off: his regiment, which bore the name of the regiment of 
Corinth, from the name of his archbishopric, darted after 
him, and began the fight. Monsieur de Beaufort sent his 
cavalry toward Etampes, and Monsieur de Chauleu, who de 
fended the place, was ready to resist an assault, or, if the 
enemy were repul